Khurshid may cancel China trip

Updated 05 May 2013
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Khurshid may cancel China trip

NEW DELHI: India’s foreign minister has hinted he could cancel a planned trip to Beijing if no progress is made in resolving a row over an alleged incursion by Chinese troops deep inside Indian-claimed territory.
The reported Chinese infiltration across the disputed Himalayan border has strained ties between the nuclear-armed neighbors whose relations have long been checkered by mutual suspicion — a legacy of a 1962 border war.
“I can’t say we have satisfaction (from Beijing) at this stage,” said foreign minister Salman Khurshid who announced last week he would head for China on May 8 to discuss the standoff.
Speaking to Indian television channels while traveling to Iran on an official visit, Khurshid said in news footage aired yesterday that New Delhi was “keeping channels of communications open.”
The minister, who has declared both countries have a mutual interest in not allowing the dispute to “destroy” long-term progress in ties, said his trip to Beijing was still on.
But he suggested he might reconsider his travel plans if there is no progress in resolving the dispute.
India has not “reached a stage where we need to review that decision (to visit Beijing),” said Khurshid, but added it would not be wise to use the word “certainty” in connection with his visit.
“We remain in the dialogue process, we hope the dialogue will be successful. As of now, I can’t say that (dialogue) has been successful,” he said.
The row is also casting a cloud over a planned visit to New Delhi by China’s new premier, Li Keqiang, later this month.
The informal border separating China and India is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC). While it has never been formally demarcated, the countries have signed two accords to maintain peace in frontier areas.

Small incursions of a few kilometers across the contested boundary are common but it is rare for either country to set up camps in disputed territory.
Both countries have been seeking to keep the row low-key, keen not to disrupt their booming bilateral trade.
India has called the incursion a “localized problem” and says it believes it is possible to resolve the problem peacefully.
Beijing has said both countries had the “capacity and wisdom” to defuse the row through “friendly consultation” but insist their troops have “not trespassed the line.”


Report: US to send caskets to North Korea to return war remains

Updated 53 min 56 sec ago
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Report: US to send caskets to North Korea to return war remains

  • South Korean media say the US military plans to send 215 caskets to North Korea through a border village
  • North Korea agreed to send home US war remains during a June 12 meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump

SEOUL, South Korea: South Korean media say the US military plans to send 215 caskets to North Korea through a border village so that the North could begin the process of returning the remains of US soldiers who have been missing since the 1950-53 Korean War.
Officials from the United States Forces Korea and South Korea’s Defense Ministry on Saturday did not immediately return calls for comment.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency cited an unnamed source as saying that about 30 US military vehicles carrying the caskets were expected to cross into the North on Saturday afternoon.
North Korea agreed to send home US war remains during a June 12 meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.