National Security Brief: March 26, 2012

— President Obama warned North Korea at a nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea on Sunday that its behavior is only deepening its isolation, while he pressed China to toughen its approach to the reclusive Stalinist state. “My suggestion to China is that how they communicate their concerns to North Korea should probably reflect the fact that the approach that they’ve taken over the last several decades hasn’t led to a fundamental shift in North Korea’s behavior,” Obama said.

— Obama also vowed to pursue further nuclear arms reductions with Russia, saying the U.S. has more warheads than it needs.

— The U.S. and Turkey (which just withdrew its embassy from Damascus) announced increased “non-lethal” aid, such as communications gear and medical supplies, to internal Syrian opposition groups as the government undertook another round of shelling the restive city of Homs.

— The families of the 16 civilian victims (and an unborn child) killed by a rampaging U.S. service member in Afghanistan will each receive $50,000 from the U.S., and those injured will get $11,000 each.


— An Afghan in army attire attacked and killed two U.S. soldiers in a troubling pattern of ostensible allies turning their guns on Americans that has taken more than 50 NATO service members’ lives since 2007.

— The UK ambassador to Afghanistan said British and American troops fighting there “should get out now” if the international community is not prepared to continue backing the Afghan government after combat operations end in 2014.

— The leader of a coup by a Malian military faction that ousted the country’s president and suspended the constitution received American training. during several visits to the U.S., in “professional military education, including basic officer training,” according to a U.S. African command official.

— The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood struck a dominant posture in the body set to write the country’s new constitution, a sign of growing confrontation with the military order that’s ruled for decades and retains power during the transition. The posture caused liberals and leftists to bow out of the body.

— The “Israel loves Iran” campaign rolled on this weekend with a video “message to Iran from Israel.” Watch it: