N. Korea’s nuclear plan is a problem between US and Pyongyang: China

In this Nov. 28, 2010, file photo, a North Korean female soldier looks back as she and another patrol on a pathway along the bank of the Yalu River, the China-North Korea border river, near North Korea's town of Sinuiju, opposite to the Chinese border city of Dandong. (AP)
Updated 25 February 2017
0

N. Korea’s nuclear plan is a problem between US and Pyongyang: China

BEIJING: China on Friday dismissed renewed pressure from US President Donald Trump over its role in North Korea, saying the crux of the matter was a dispute between Washington and Pyongyang.
Trump told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that China could solve the national security challenge posed by North Korea “very easily if they want to,” turning up pressure on Beijing to exert more influence to rein in Pyongyang’s increasingly bellicose actions.
China has made clear that it opposes North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and has repeatedly called for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and a return to negotiations between Pyongyang and world powers.
It has also insisted it is dedicated to enforcing UN sanctions against North Korea.
“We have said many times already that the crux of the North Korean nuclear issue is the problem between the US and North Korea,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing, responding to Trump’s remarks.
“We hope the relevant parties can shoulder their responsibilities, play the role they should, and together with China play a constructive role for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and for its denuclearization,” he added.
The official Xinhua News Agency said China’s influence on North Korea had been exaggerated.
“The Trump White House needs to make the first move and talk to Pyongyang. The US stands to lose nothing for trying this,” it said in an English-language commentary.
China announced on Saturday last week it was banning imports of coal from North Korea, after it tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile.
North Korean state media issued a rare reproach of China on Thursday saying its main diplomatic backer was “dancing to the tune” of the US for halting its coal imports because of its nuclear and missile programs.
The North’s state-run KCNA news agency did not refer directly to China by name but in an unmistakable censure it accused a “neighboring country” of going along with North Korea’s enemies to “bring down its social system.”
Asked about the report, Shuang said the UN sanctions were a clear signal of opposition from the international community about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and that China would enforce them.
However, he also described China and North Korea as being friendly neighbors.
“We are willing to work with North Korea to promote the stable and healthy development of relations,” Shunag said, adding North Korea was well aware of China’s position on its nuclear program.


German court rejects call for Catalan leader Puigdemont to be rearrested

Updated 22 May 2018
0

German court rejects call for Catalan leader Puigdemont to be rearrested

BERLIN: A German court on Tuesday rejected a request from prosecutors to take former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont back into custody pending a decision on whether he can be extradited to Spain.
Puigdemont was detained by German police March 25 after crossing the border from Denmark. Spain had issued a European arrest warrant and sought his extradition on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds — charges that stem from an unauthorized referendum last year on Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
He was released April 6 after a German court said it appeared he can’t be extradited for rebellion, the more serious of the two charges. But prosecutors in the northern town of Schleswig argued that new information provided by Spanish authorities suggests that would be possible.
They cited videos showing violence against Spanish police and said in a statement that “the disturbances were on such a scale that prosecutors believe that he should also be extradited over the accusation of rebellion.” The prosecutors argued that the charge is comparable to two offenses under German law — treason and breaching the peace.
They said that Puigdemont would pose a flight risk and called for him to be taken back into custody. The state court in Schleswig disagreed and rejected the request.
Puigdemont remains free with certain conditions, including reporting to police once a week.
The separatist politician has been living in Berlin, frequently receiving political allies from Catalonia including his newly elected successor as regional president, Quim Torra.
The Schleswig court said it is “still open” when a final decision will be made on whether Puigdemont can be extradited. It said that the prosecutors have yet to submit a formal application to examine whether an extradition is possible.