South Korean diplomat says Kim has ‘given his word’ on nukes

This combination of pictures created on March 09, 2018 comprising of an undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 17, 2018 showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visiting the newly-renovated Pyongyang Teachers' University in Pyongyang and US President Donald Trump applauding as he stands in front of the Warsaw Uprising Monument on Krasinski Square during the Three Seas Initiative Summit in Warsaw, Poland, in this July 6, 2017 file photos. (AFP)
Updated 19 March 2018
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South Korean diplomat says Kim has ‘given his word’ on nukes

WASHINGTON: South Korea’s foreign minister says North Korea’s leader has “given his word” he’s committed to denuclearization, a prime condition for a potential summit with President Donald Trump in May.
Trump has agreed to what would be historic talks after South Korean officials relayed that Kim Jong Un was committed to ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons and was willing to halt nuclear and missile tests.
North Korea hasn’t publicly confirmed the summit plans, and a meeting place isn’t known.
South Korea’s Kang Kyung-wha says Seoul has asked the North “to indicate in clear terms the commitment to denuclearization” and she says Kim’s “conveyed that commitment.”
She tells CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “he’s given his word” and it’s “the first time that the words came directly” from the North’s leader.


Sri Lanka’s former PM Wickremesinghe to return to post

Updated 16 December 2018
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Sri Lanka’s former PM Wickremesinghe to return to post

  • The South Asian island country had plunged into instability after President Maithripala Sirisena replaced Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa
  • An official at the president’s office confirmed Wickremesinghe’s oath taking

COLOMBO: Ranil Wickremesinghe will return as Sri Lankan prime minister on Sunday, a lawmaker from his party and an official at the president’s office said, likely ending a political crisis that began in late October when he was surprisingly ousted.
Wickremesinghe’s comeback is an embarrassment for President Maithripala Sirisena, who replaced him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa following differences over policy making and other issues.
However, Rajapaksa failed to win a parliamentary majority and resigned on Saturday as a government shutdown loomed.
“He will take the oath at an auspicious time today,” Rajitha Senaratne, a Cabinet spokesman under Wickremesinghe’s former government, told Reuters.
An official at the president’s office confirmed that Wickremesinghe would be sworn in, which should help achieve parliamentary approval for a temporary budget that is required by Jan. 1.
The South Asian island country’s parliament voted to cut the budget for Rajapaksa and his ministers after Sirisena refused to accept no-confidence votes against Rajapaksa, saying that due process was not followed.
Parliament has already passed a confidence vote in Wickremesinghe while it sought his reinstatement as prime minister to defuse a constitutional crisis.
On Friday, Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court rejected Rajapaksa’s bid for an injunction against a lower court’s order that barred him and his Cabinet from performing their roles.
Many foreign countries refused to recognize Rajapaksa’s government. Credit rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s downgraded Sri Lanka, citing refinancing risks and an uncertain policy outlook.
Sirisena came to power in 2015 on a pledge to uphold democracy and stamp out corruption. However, his popularity has been hit by a crisis many say he triggered because of personal differences with Wickremesinghe.