CryptoDaily Newsletter by BCFocus >> 16.05.2018 >> Vol.22

CryptoDaily Newsletter by BCFocus >> 16.05.2018 >> Vol.22 8691

Bitcoin

May 16, 2018 at 7:21 PM

Deutsche Bank Joins Hyperledger Project as Premier Member

Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort dedicated to developing cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is an international participation, hosted by The Linux Foundation, including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing, and Technology. Read more

eToro undertakes trading of its cryptocurrencies in the US market.

eToro, the world’s leading social trading network will be opening up to the colossal US trading market. It had recently expanded its list of cryptocurrencies and now it is set to start its operations in the US market. Read more

Blockchain INDO 2018, Jakarta’s crypto-conference

Blockchain INDO 2018 held on 11 & 12 May 2018 at Kempinski Grand Ballroom Jakarta successfully comprised experts, speakers, exhibitors and participants from blockchain, digital assets and fintech – nearly 1000 participants from around the world who attended the event. Read more

South Korea to emphasise on the “positive aspects” of virtual currencies

South Korea is all set to relax its vigilance on cryptocurrencies. The regulating officials of South Korea express their intention to ease their norms. They are preparing to use virtual currencies in the form of “financial assets. Read more

Boston based Circle Raises $110M for US Dollar Crypto Coin

A digital currency startup dubbed “Circle Internet Financial” has recently raised an enormous amount of $110 million in the VC funding. Their aim is to unveil their own US Dollar Coin. It is supposed to be a cryptocurrency that works on EthereumBlockchain. Furthermore, the cryptocurrency will be backed by US fiat currency called “US dollar”. Read more

Poland becomes world’s first country to put banking records on the blockchain

Billion, Polish tech firm is collaborating with the country’s Credit Office to utilize blockchain technology to store the credit histories of 24 million people and 1 million businesses. Read more

Blockchain startup VeChain gets investment from Norway-based organization Global Consultant

DNV GL, Norway-based registrar organization partnered with blockchain startup VeChain as a part of expanding an existing working relationship.The companies denied exposing the investment amount, VeChain CEO Sunny Lu informed sources that the companies would continue their partnership. The company utilizes VeChain’s network to store supply chain management data securely. The initiative is the first ever investments in VeChain network, he said. Read more

Fatfish Internet Group, the global venture firm to undertake cryptocurrency mining

51% of APAC Mining Corp is owned by Fatfish Internet Group Ltd. which is lately in news for acquiring an industrial site. The mining corporation has its location in Singapore. However, the location of this industrial site is in the city of Montreal, Canada that will undergo a conversion. A cryptocurrency mining site will be established at this industrial site. Read more

Nebula Genomics, Longenesis partner to establish life data economics with AI and Blockchain

Harvard Medical School startup Nebula Genomics and Longenisis, two giants in artificial intelligence and blockchain technology in the medical field are developing a platform for storing and exchange of genomic data.An announcement was made on May 15 states that they have targeted to launch new research field of “life data economics.” Read more

Regulations on cryptocurrency as virtual assets begins in Thailand officially

2018 begins with a dynamic note in the domain of cryptocurrency in Thailand. The Bank of Thailand issues a circular in February forbidding the banks to provide banking assistance to the crypto companies. The banks have already been ordered not to invest in or sell virtual assets and even provide loans to crypt enthusiasts. Read more

TapJets unveils its plans to accept Cryptocurrencies

TapJets will now be accepting cryptocurrencies for payments. Tapjects new mode of payment allows a query for selection of the right coin.TapJets has an application used in Airline travel. The app has given information that has made the Litecoin community anxious about its cryptocurrency market. Read more

Enigma to demonstrate blockchain privacy technology ‘Secret Contracts’ at the Consensus 2018

Enigma is a blockchain-based protocol that uses groundbreaking privacy technologies to enable scalable, end-to-end decentralized applications. They are planning to conduct the first public presentation of its privacy oriented, blockchain based protocol on Tuesday at the Consensus 2018 conference. Read more

Amazon introduces Kaleido to simplify the use of blockchain for customers

ConsenSys today announced “Kaleido, a new Blockchain Business Cloud aimed at speeding and simplifying enterprises’ journey to using the technology. Kaleido is the first Software-as-a-Service featuring popular Ethereum packages Geth and Quorum, and is offered in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).” It is available across multiple geographies in AWS marketplace. Read more

iPhone Maker Foxconn leads $7 million Series A investment in Cambridge Blockchain

Cambridge Blockchainannounced today, ” a Series A equity financing, led by HCM Capital, the venture arm of Foxconn Technology Group.”Partech and Digital Currency Group joined HCM in a $7 million first close, including new capital and conversion of outstanding debt. Read more

Thomson Reuters Introduces Cryptocurrency Real Time Rates

Thomson Reuters has unveiled a new Cryptocurrency Real Time Rates data feed. It would display reliable, real-time information from six currencies across significant cryptocurrency trading exchanges paving the way for transparency and efficiency in cryptocurrency markets. Read more

HTC to launch Exodus – a blockchain-powered phone

An Android phone, based on the blockchain, is being developed by HTC. The phone named “Exodus” will host a universal wallet and inbuilt secure hardware for cryptocurrencies and applications powered by distributed ledger technology. Read more

Coinbase Introduces Coinbase Suite of Institutional Products

Adam White, Vice President and General Manager at Coinbasewrote in The Coinbase Blog about the launching of Coinbase Custody in collaboration with SEC-regulated broker-dealer. Read more

IBM collaborates with Veridium to combine crypto with environmental credit trading

Veridium Labs is an environmental fin-tech company that has created the world’s first social and ecological impact offset token on the Stellar Blockchain. It has joined hands with IBM to design a blockchain network for keeping track of entities who deal in buying and selling of carbon credits. Read more

Wyoming imposes a bill on cryptocurrency: Utility Token Bill

The cryptocurrency has become such a prevalent notion that it has found itself lurking in the mainstream economy, inducing the government organisations to enforce laws in an attempt to regulate cryptocurrencies.The U.S government enforces two federal agencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), to bring regulations to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Read more

Image via shutterstock

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Amazon releases its blockchain template that allows Ethereum [ETH] mining

Robinhood, the US-based cryptocurrency exchange service offers a mobile app which can be used for trading publicly. This might be the monotonous duty of every other exchange in the market but what makes Robinhood stand out is that it doesn’t charge any commission for trading and they earn through the interest obtained on customers’ cash balances and margin lending.

Their latest tweet announced:

“Robinhood Crypto is coming to a Rocky Mountain near you! Commission-free Bitcoin [BTC] and Ethereum [ETH] trading are now rolled out and available to investors in Colorado.”

The competitive landscape for cryptocurrencies is heating up in the U.S. with this announcement of the Zero-Commission start-up exchange expanding there. The platform revealed non-commission-based trading for Bitcoin and Ethereum in the western state Colorado, which is known for its blockchain friendly legislation.

Earlier in April, Robinhood had also added the same in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Montana. Users are now excited and rushing in with requests to move to their cities like Texas, Florida, Arizona, and others.

Fenny, a cryptocurrency enthusiast tweeted:

loading…

“What is taking so long for Florida! Tallahassee is the crypto capital of the US!!! Oh man… can’t come soon enough. I would say bye, bye to Coinbase in heartbeat.”

While many users also complained of inaccessibility and being stuck on a waiting list in California specifically, Ron, a Twitterati commented:

“Dude you can’t even give the people in California access!!! why are you adding another STATE… FAIL!!! Don’t waste your time with this. You can’t deposit or withdraw.”

According to people’s cumulative opinion, if Robinhood works on listing more of the cryptocurrencies and expanding further in the US and elsewhere, clients will willingly shift from their existing trading platforms to Robinhood.

As of now, Robinhood hasn’t opened up anything about other altcoins, except supporting Bitcoin and Ethereum but offers market data for a number of altcoins.

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As blockchain heats up, so do job prospects for devs

Blockchain developers are in short supply and hot demand.

The job of developing blockchain distributed ledgers for businesses was recently ranked second among the top 20 fastest-growing job skills, and postings for workers with those skills grew more than 200% last year.

Salaries for blockchain developer or “engineer” positions are accordingly high, with median salaries in the U.S. hovering around $130,000 a year; that compares to general software developers, whose annual median pay is $105,000, according to Matt Sigelman, CEO of job data analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies.

In high-tech regions of the U.S. such as Silicon Valley, New York City or Boston, a blockchain developer has a median annual salary of $158,000 – an $18,000 premium over salaries for general software developers.

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Letter: Sanctions, yes, but what kind?

To the editor:

The hoax has been revealed and the real hoax emerges that the president invented his Russian story out of his own fanciful imagination and wishful thinking. If he had followed Steve Bannon’s advice to upset the government it couldn’t have worked out better. Mr. President, the Russians are not friendly and meaning no harm, whatever assurances Putin gave you. And they did really meddle in our election in a big way and wage an aggressive disinformation campaign using counterfeit American citizens courtesy of Facebook and other social media. Not to mention their cyber warfare attacks. It is all part of their playbook and used on many other countries.

If they did meddle, the president tells us, they had no impact on the election and the Trump team had nothing to do with them, therefore no collusion. After all, the Russians started their activities in 2014, before the election. The whole story is yet to unfold.

About Obama, contrary to the president’s statement that he did not take action when he had the chance, he did take steps to impose vigorous sanctions and would have told Putin to cut out his actions. What did Trump do? He cancelled the projected sanctions and kept his mouth shut about Russian interference in U.S. affairs.

Would the president support any sanctions when he has trouble even recognizing that the Russians played an active part in the U.S. political process?

Assuming for the moment that he is willing to apply sanctions or that he will accept the will of the Senate, what would make sense for the U.S. to do?

Sanctions cover a broad area and they impact different parts of a country and its government. Could they be configured to give pain to the right people and not the general populace as has been the case with Iran. Can the freewheeling oligarchs who have lined the pockets of the Trump team and family be included? Perhaps restricting their travel to the U.S., though they would use their money to counter that.

The Russians will have to save face, deny their involvement and create some pain for the U.S., like sending our spies home. That might not go down well with the CIA and other agencies. The CIA may have its own arrangements with its counterpart in the Russian Federation.

We haven’t yet mentioned the problem of no leadership in the State Department and the questionable reliability of Secretary Tillerson in relaying a firm message to the Kremlin. All of that leaves the Pentagon in charge of carrying out sanctions.

Change in the balance of power in the U.S. House would help to focus on protecting U.S. interests, but that puts off the question of responding forcefully before the next election. In all probability the U.S. response will be in cyber offense/defense, it would be less public because that would suit the president. Maybe we could turn Moscow dark from unknown causes, but then what happens to New York. This is tricky business sanctions?

Don’t count on it.

Bill Jackson

Gloucester

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Peter Marshall: President Trump crosses the line

Dear Editor:

This paper has published numerous letters over the last 18 months reflecting a stark partisan divide within Routt County regarding the ability of Donald Trump to carry out his responsibilities as President of the United States. While that divide persists, the weekend before last saw President Trump cross a line that ironically, and unfortunately, may well result in somewhat more consensus regarding our President’s performance in office.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Department of Justice announced the indictment of 13 Russian individuals and three Russian entities for widespread efforts to undermine the 2016 Presidential election. It is clear from the limited focus of the indictments that they covered only a portion of the “information warfare” conducted by Russian related individuals and entities.

One can certainly disagree whether the original intent of Russian’s meddling was to support candidate Trump or simply to sow chaos regarding the results of a probable Hillary Clinton victory. One can also disagree whether the meddling affected the outcome. However, that would miss the point.

Shortly after the announcement of the indictments, President Trump’s own National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster confirmed what the entire U. S. Intelligence Community has been reporting for the last year, i.e. that the evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election is “incontrovertible.”

Nonetheless, President Trump’s response to the indictments has been to criticize everyone except Russia. In a tweet flurry President Trump criticized the FBI, CNN, the Democratic Party, his own national security advisor, former President Barack Obama as well as the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Yet not a word was uttered criticizing the Russian government or its leader Vladimir Putin.

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More importantly, Trump’s Twitter blast overshadowed last week’s Senate testimony of the heads of the six major U.S. intelligence agencies that uniformly agreed that Moscow’s next target is the 2018 midterm election. Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, went so far as to say that the United States is currently “under attack.”

One can disagree about why the President has refused to criticize Moscow or to take any actions to protect the sanctity of the 2018 vote. However, President Trump, like all federal officials, took an oath to “protect and defend” the United States Constitution. Most reasonable people would agree that oath includes protecting and defending the American electoral system.

If as the U.S. intelligence community agrees, we are currently under attack, the President has an obligation to defend us and our elections. Yet, all President Trump has done to this point is refuse to enforce the sanctions already passed by the Congress against Russia.

This leads to the fundamental question each of us must answer for ourselves. If we can agree that President Trump has an obligation to protect and defend the sanctity of the American electoral system, how are we to interpret his lack of outrage at the conduct of Moscow; let alone his failure to lead, or at least not obstruct, the effort to ensure that Russians are not allowed to engage in further cyber-warfare against the U.S. in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections?

However each of us answer that question, we should all be prepared, regardless of political persuasion, to immediately contact the offices of Senator Cory Gardner, Senator Michael Bennett and Representative Scott Tipton and implore them to take whatever legislative steps are necessary to insure the integrity of the 2018 midterm elections. If President Trump refuses to be a willing participant in that effort, the Congress must take that obligation upon itself.

Peter Marshall

Clark

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Naval Information Forces’ Force Master Chief Visits Cryptologic Warfare Group SIX

Naval Information Forces’ Force Master Chief Visits Cryptologic Warfare Group SIX

Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Elizabeth Dunagan | FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Jan 31, 2018) Force Master Chief for of Naval Information…read moreread more

Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Elizabeth Dunagan | FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Jan 31, 2018) Force Master Chief for of Naval Information Forces, Force Master Chief David B. Carter, speaks during Cryptologic Warfare Group SIX (CWG-6)’s Chief Petty Officers Call at McGill Training Center on post. CWG-6 delivers information warfare capabilities to the U.S. Navy to support signals intelligence and cyberspace operations for naval and joint forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Liz Dunagan/Released) see less | View Image Page

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MD, UNITED STATES

02.02.2018

Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Elizabeth Dunagan

Cryptologic Warfare Group SIX

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (NNS) – Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) Force Master Chief (FORCM) David B. Carter visited Sailors from Cryptologic Warfare Group SIX (CWG-6) at Fort George G. Meade, Md., January 30 and 31.

A native of Orange, California, Carter’s career spans 32 years. He reported for his current assignment as the NAVIFOR FORCM in Oct. 2017. His visit with CWG-6 was part of an introduction tour to each of the information warfare commands.

Carter spent the two days meeting with CWG-6 Command Master Chief (CMDCM) Ricardo Galvan and Sailors from the commands, directorates, and departments under CWG-6. Carter toured a number of facilities across the group and took time to speak with chief petty officers.

“As a force master chief, my primary responsibility is to support you, your Sailors and your families in order to help all of them become successful. I can’t do that from behind a desk that is why I am here,” said Carter, addressing the CWG-6 chief petty officers, “But I really want to thank you because I am very impressed with the caliber of Sailors at this command.”

Carter spoke about his excitement for getting to know and learn what the information warfare community does behind the scenes, but noted his main goal for the visit was to get a better understanding of what everyday life is like for CWG-6 Sailors and how he can best support them.

“I really appreciate and want to thank FORCM Carter for taking time out of his busy schedule to come up and visit the Sailors from CWG-6. We had a great and productive visit,” said Galvan. “Our Sailors did an outstanding job of showcasing their level of knowledge and expertise. They provided FORCM Carter with a better understanding of what CWG-6’s mission is and the challenges our Sailors face every day.”

CWG-6’s primary mission is to deliver information warfare capabilities to the U.S. Navy by providing and deploying trained Sailors, expertise, and equipment to support signals intelligence and cyberspace operations for naval and joint forces. CWG-6 has three subordinate commands that support its mission: Cryptologic Warfare Maritime Activity SIXTY ONE (CWMA-61), Cyber Strike Activity SIXTY THREE (CSA-63), and Cyber Defense Activity SIXTY FOUR (CDA-64). For more information and news from CWG-6, visit www.public.navy.mil/fltfor/cwg6 or www.facebook.com/CWGSIX.

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We Are Still A Sitting Duck For Russian Hacking

Trump, no slouch at undermining both, has a foreign enabler. So while his generals, his intelligence chiefs, the Department of Homeland Security and most Republicans in Congress take this threat very seriously, Trump is delighted to surf it. While special counsel Robert Mueller is still sorting out what occurred in 2016, Trump’s tacit acceptance of ongoing Russian threats is every bit as much of a potentially impeachable offense as his initial wink-and-nod understanding with Putin.

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Ivanka Trump set to watch some Olympic events

She said Ivanka Trump passed on a personal message from President Trump, particularly regarding the latest US sanctions on the North. Sanders added that the goals of denuclearization must be maintained. -North Korea talks during the dinner with Ivanka Trump and other members of a USA delegation. Under cloudy skies, she watched her first event Saturday morning – Big Air snowboarding.

Interested in North Korea?

South Korea is hoping to ease tensions by allowing the North to participate in the games and send senior delegations.

The deadly sinking took place while Kim was the chief of North Korea’s reconnaissance bureau, which is tasked with overseas intelligence operations and cyberwarfare.

Moon spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said the president urged that U.S.

Kim is suspected of masterminding and ordering the attack on South Korea’s Cheonan warship in 2010, which sank and left 46 people dead. Also with her was International Olympic Committee board member and 1998 hockey gold medalist Angela Ruggiero.

Ivanka Trump arrived to a red-carpet welcome in South Korea on Friday to attend this weekend’s closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

This photo, taken February 25, 2018, shows families of the 46 South Korean victims of North Korea’s 2010 sinking of a warship holding a rally in Paju, just south of the inter-Korean border, to oppose a visit to the South by Kim Yong-chol, a top North Korean official accused of having masterminded the attack. The two had no apparent contact.

The nuclear force of North Korea is “the powerful treasured sword for defending peace” as it can decisively tackle threats from the US, Xinhua news agency cited a North Korean daily as saying.

Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, attended the opening ceremony in an historic first – no member of the ruling Kim family had ever traveled to the South before.

But while the games appear to have paved a way for possible rapprochement between the two Koreas, U.S. and North Korean officials have yet to make direct contact. Though Pence stood to cheer the entrance of the USA team, he remained seated when the athletes from North and South Korea marched together behind a “unification” flag, leaving Moon to instinctively turn around and shake Kim’s sister’s hand.

Kim Yong-chol, a ranking party official in charge of inter-Korean affairs, crossed the inter-Korean border for a three-day visit, leading North Korea’s high-level delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics closing ceremony.

The White House has emphasized that the goal of her visit is to celebrate athletes’ achievements, highlighting that she is a winter sports enthusiast herself. The delegation to the closing ceremony was expected to follow up on that invitation while in South Korea.

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South and North Korea agree: Washington should talk to Pyongyang

With the Winter Olympics at a close and as the clock ticks down toward the conclusion of the Winter Paralympics, when military tensions are expected to skyrocket, the Korean peninsula finds itself at the center of fast-moving diplomacy.

North-South Korean security dialogue took place at a Seoul hotel on Monday between the Vice Chairman of North Korea’s Central Party Committee, Kim Yong-chol, and Chung Eui-yong, the chief of South Korea’s National Security Office.

Must-reads from across Asia – directly to your inbox

While details of what passed between them are scant, a South Korean presidential statement suggested that the talks were wide-ranging.

“The two sides noted the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games have provided a meaningful opportunity to realize the Olympic spirit of peace and unity, as well as for peace on the Korean Peninsula and the restoration of the South-North Korean relationship, and agreed to continue working together even after the end of the Olympics to enable the establishment of lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, sustainable development of the South-North relationship and cooperation with the international community,” the presidential Blue House said in a statement reported by Yonhap.

At the meeting, Kim repeated that North Korea was open to direct talks with Washington.

Moon urges US to accept North Korean offer

On Sunday, Kim attended the Olympiad closing ceremony. Before it, he indicated to South Korean President Moon Jae-in that North Korea is willing to enter direct negotiations with the United States – a meeting Moon has consistently called for.

“We will see if Pyongyang’s message today, that it is willing to hold talks, represents the first steps along the path to denuclearization,” the White House responded on Sunday. However, Pyongyang has previously stated that its nuclear weapons are non-negotiable.

On Monday, Moon, meeting in Seoul with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, indicated he thought Washington should take up Pyongyang’s offer. “There is a need for the United States to lower the threshold for talks with North Korea, and North Korea should show it is willing to denuclearize,” Moon was quoted as saying in a Blue House statement. “It’s important the United States and North Korea sit down together quickly.”

US President Donald Trump has followed Moon’s lead on talks, even indicating he would be willing to enter direct negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. No previous US president has ever held talks with a North Korean leader. All the same, Washington, announced on Friday yet another raft of sanctions against North Korea, infuriating Pyongyang.

Commando general is serious player, but no PR plan

In Seoul, Kim Yong-chol is proving a more low-key visitor than Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who visited South Korea for the Winter Olympiad opening ceremony. Kim, who is held to be central to her brother’s image management, passed on the latter’s invitation to Moon for a summit and generated swooning media coverage with her good looks and regal manner, although she did not appear to engage in more substantive diplomacy.

That behind-closed-doors role may fall to Kim Yong-chol. A central player in the regime, he is a badged general who formerly commanded the powerful and shadowy Reconnaissance General Bureau, which commands many of North Korea’s most potent asymmetrical assets, including espionage, special operations and cyber warfare units. He is also widely blamed in South Korean for two separate attacks in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans.

While the general is not nearly as photogenic as the leader’s sister, nobody can accuse the South Koreans of not trying to stage-manage a meeting at the Olympic closing ceremony on Sunday evening.

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Closing ceremony - Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 25, 2018 - Ivanka Trump, U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter and senior White House adviser, and Kim Yong Chol of the North Korea delegation attend the closing ceremony. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Ivanka Trump (left) was seated close by Kim Yong-chol at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympiad closing ceremony. Photo: Reuters / Lucy Nicholson

There, Kim – in dark coat and a Russian-style fur hat – was seated to the left and behind, but in close proximity to, the head of the visiting US delegation, Ivanka Trump. He was separated from a key player in her delegation – US Forces Korea Commander-in-Chief Vincent Brooks, who attended in full uniform – by a man who has been identified as Lee Jin-sung, president of South Korea’s Constitutional Court. Despite their proximity, however, no interaction between the two generals – or the two delegations – appeared to take place.

The Chung-Kim meeting on Monday took place in an unspecified Seoul hotel. That hotel could well have been the Sheraton Walker, which is situated on the eastern edge of the capital and therefore easy to secure against protesters, and has accommodated North Korean delegates in the past.

Whether delegates from the North are aware that the hotel is named after Walton Walker, a US general who died during the Korean War, or that the hotel complex started life as a recreation center for US troops stationed in Korea, is unknown.

Furious conservatives rally against Kim visit, Moon

Kim certainly did not appear in central Seoul, where thousands of conservatives, including the leader of the opposition Liberty Korea Party, rallied to protest his visit. Waving Korean and some American flags, the protesters – predominantly in their 50s and 60s, including a number dressed in military paraphernalia – waved placards reading “Kim Yong-chol visit: Moon Jae-in, friend of North Korea.”

One man held up a sign blaming Kim for the sinking of the corvette Cheonan, in which 46 South Korean sailors died, and for the artillery strike on Yeonpyeong Island, in which four South Koreans were killed. Kim has been accused by previous Seoul administrations of being a key figure behind the two deadly attacks, which both took place in 2010. “Kim Yong-chol is the main provocateur and criminal toward South Korea,” the placard read. “Devilish murderer visits South Korea, provoking South Korea fury.”

While there was no violence and the protests appeared well policed, emotions ran high, with some right-wingers apparently as angry with their own president as with North Korea. “Is Moon Jae-in a person? That bitch! He should die!” spat one protester.

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-26 at 16.55.46

Retired South Korean marines display a sign accusing President Moon Jae-in of being a friend of North Korea. Photo: Andrew Salmon

The liberal Moon has sought to use the Olympics as a breathing space and springboard for tension-reduction talks before combined South Korea-US military exercises take place in the spring. He is under pressure from Washington, and also outside parties including Japan, to resume these exercises and maintain “maximum pressure” on North Korea.

Thus far, Moon’s plan appears to be working. He has been rewarded with the re-opening of inter-Korean communication channels, the highest-level North Korean delegation ever to visit the South, and the current dialogue.

However, the time for a breakthrough is running out. Moon has not yet responded to Kim’s summit offer, but North and South Korean officials will meet on Tuesday to discuss the North’s participation at the Paralympics, which begin on March 9. Military exercises, and associated tensions, are expected soon after the Paralympics conclude on March 18.

Kim and his delegation are scheduled to return to North Korea on Tuesday.

Read: After the ‘Peace Olympics,’ time for the war games?

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