China says war must not be allowed on Korean Peninsula

South Korean President Moon Jae-In, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, applaud during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. (AFP)
Updated 15 December 2017
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China says war must not be allowed on Korean Peninsula

BEIJING: War must not be allowed to break out on the Korean peninsula and the issue must be resolved through talks, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the danger of “sleepwalking” into conflict.
Xi made his comments to visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in just days after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions.
But the White House said on Wednesday that no negotiations could be held with North Korea until it improved its behavior. The White House has declined to say whether President Donald Trump, who has taken a tougher rhetorical line toward North Korea, approved Tillerson’s overture.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tillerson’s offer of direct contacts with North Korea was “a very good signal,” while warning that a US strike on the North would have catastrophic consequences.
North Korea tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 29, which it said could put all of the United States within range, in defiance of international pressure and UN sanctions.
While South Korea and China share the goal of getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and stop testing increasingly sophisticated long-range missiles, the two have not seen eye-to-eye on how to achieve this.
Meeting in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Xi told Moon that the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula must be stuck to, and that war and chaos cannot be allowed to happen, state media said.
“The peninsula issue must in the end be resolved via dialogue and consultation,” Xi was cited as saying.
China and South Korea have an important shared interest in maintaining peace and stability, and China is willing to work with South Korea to prevent war and promote talks, Xi added.
China would support North and South Korea to improve relations as this was good for easing tension, he said.
Xi’s warm tone followed nearly a year of tense relations between the two countries.
China has been furious about the deployment of the US-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, saying its powerful radar can see far into China and will do nothing to ease tension with North Korea.
China and South Korea agreed in late October that they would normalize exchanges and move past the dispute over THAAD, which froze trade and business exchanges, and Moon has been keen to put the dispute behind them.
Xi reiterated China’s position on THAAD and said he hoped South Korea would continue to “appropriately handle” the issue.
Guterres, speaking to reporters in Tokyo after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said Security Council resolutions on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs must be fully implemented by Pyongyang and other countries.
“It is very clear that the Security Council resolutions must be fully implemented, first of all by North Korea, but by all other countries whose role is crucial to ... achieve the result we all aim at, which is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Guterres said.
He added that Security Council unity was also vital “to allow for the possibility of diplomatic engagement” that would allow denuclearization to take place.
“The worst possible thing that could happen is for us all to sleepwalk into a war that might have very dramatic circumstances,” Guterres said.
He said he expected a meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday would deliver a strong expression of unity and the need for diplomacy to resolve the issue.
Japan says now is the time to keep up maximum pressure on North Korea, not start talks on its missile and nuclear programs.
China and Russia, however, have welcomed Tillerson’s overture.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said a strike on North Korea by the US would have catastrophic consequences and that he hoped to work with Washington eventually to resolve the crisis on the Korean peninsula.
Russia does not accept North Korea’s nuclear status, Putin told an annual news conference. But he also said that some of Washington’s past actions had provoked North Korea into violating a 2005 pact to curb its nuclear program.
“We believe the two sides should now stop aggravating the situation,” Putin said.
North Korea justifies its weapons program as necessary defense against US plans to invade. The US, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, denies any such intention.
 


Trump Administration says it knows location of all children

Updated 24 June 2018
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Trump Administration says it knows location of all children

  • Trump administration officials say the US government knows the location of all children in its custody after separating them from their families at the border and is working to reunite them
  • As part of the effort, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have posted notices in all its facilities advising detained parents who are trying to find or communicate with their children to call a hotline staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Fr

Trump administration officials say the US government knows the location of all children in its custody after separating them from their families at the border and is working to reunite them.
A fact sheet on “zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification” released Saturday night by the Department of Homeland Security also says a parent must request that their child be deported with them. In the past, the agency says, many parents have elected to be deported without their children. That may be a reflection of violence or persecution they face in their home countries.
As part of the effort, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have posted notices in all its facilities advising detained parents who are trying to find or communicate with their children to call a hotline staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
A parent or guardian trying to determine if a child is in the custody of HHS should contact the Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center at 1-800-203-7001, or via email [email protected] Information will be collected and sent to HHS funded facility where minor is located.
The fact sheet doesn’t state how long it might take to reunite families. The Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Texas has been set up as the staging ground for the families to be reunited prior to deportation.
How the government would reunite families has been unclear because the families are first stopped by Customs and Border Patrol, with children taken into custody by HHS and adults detained through ICE. Children have been sent to shelters around the country, raising alarm that parents might never know where their children can be found.
The fact sheet states that ICE has implemented an identification mechanism to ensure on-going tracking of linked family members throughout the detention and removal process; designated detention locations for separated parents and will enhance current processes to ensure communication with children in HHS custody; worked closely with foreign consulates to ensure that travel documents are issued for both the parent and child at time of removal; and coordinated with HHS for the reuniting of the child prior to the parents’ departure from the US
President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered the practice of separating parents and their children to stop. As of last Wednesday, 2,053 minors who were separated at the border were being cared for in HHS-funded facilities, the fact sheet said.
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This version of the story has been corrected to say that the fact sheet was issued by the Department of Homeland Security, not Health and Human Services,
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Online:
HHS zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification fact sheet:
http://apne.ws/qjYtmJR
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Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center:
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/resource/orr-national-call-center