North Korea seen “cautious” in announcing stance over upcoming summits

US President Donald Trump agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by the end of May and the two Koreas will hold a summit by end-April. (KCNA via Reuters)
Updated 12 March 2018
0

North Korea seen “cautious” in announcing stance over upcoming summits

SEOUL: North Korea’s silence on its upcoming summits with the US and South Korea is likely due to caution over organizing its stance regarding the meetings, South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said on Monday.
“We have not seen nor received an official response from the North Korean regime regarding the North Korea-US summit,” said Baik Tae-hyun, spokesman for the ministry, in a regular press conference.
“I feel they’re approaching this matter with caution and they need time to organize their stance.”
North Korean media noted a visit by a senior delegation from South Korea last week but no coverage has been seen of Kim Jong Un’s invitation to meet US President Donald Trump or South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss the future of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
Trump agreed to meet with Kim Jong Un by the end of May and the two Koreas will hold a summit by end-April. A location has not been decided for the North Korea-US summit while Kim Jong Un and Moon will meet at the truce village of Panmunjom straddling the border between the two Koreas.
North and South Korea agreed to hold working talks to hammer out the details of the inter-Korean summit, but the two Koreas have not officially spoken since the South Korean delegation returned from the North last week, Baik said.
The North’s official news agency has been lauding efforts between the North and South to thaw relations, but state media has continued to warn the US and Japan against war-mongering.
Rhetoric in the North’s state media has been tame, however, compared to previous threats last year that went as far as saying Pyongyang would fire missiles to the vicinity of the US territory of Guam if provoked.
The South Korean officials who carried Kim’s invitation to Washington will visit the leaders of China and Japan this week to update them on the talks.


UK PM Theresa May to ask lawmakers to vote on a second Brexit referendum

Updated 57 min 7 sec ago
0

UK PM Theresa May to ask lawmakers to vote on a second Brexit referendum

  • May is offering concessions in what she says is a “last chance” to secure British departure
  • May said she was 'making a new offer to find common ground in Parliament'

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May said her government will include in her Withdrawal Agreement Bill a requirement for lawmakers to vote on whether to hold another Brexit referendum.

“I recognise the genuine and sincere strength of feeling across the House on this important issue,” May said. "The government will therefore include in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill at introduction a requirement to vote on whether to hold a second referendum."

“So to those MPs who want a second referendum to confirm the deal - you need a deal and therefore Withdrawal Agreement Bill to make it happen,” May said.

May is offering concessions in what she says is a “last chance” to secure an orderly British departure from the bloc.

The deal that she struck with the EU has been rejected by UK lawmakers three times already.

Since then, she has tried to secure backing from lawmakers with promises to maintain high standards on workers' rights and environmental protections — issues that are priorities for the left-of-center opposition Labour Party.

She also said UK lawmakers would get to decide how close a trade relationship to seek with the EU after Brexit, in a concession to Labour's demands for a customs union.

May said she was “making a new offer to find common ground in Parliament.”

“I have compromised. Now I ask you to compromise too,” she said.

May has said that after Parliament votes on the bill she will set out a timetable for her departure as Conservative leader and prime minister. Pro-Brexit Conservatives blame May for the country's political deadlock and want to replace her with a staunch Brexit supporter such as Boris Johnson, a former foreign secretary.

(With agencies)