Trump says summit with North Korea could still go ahead

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press on his way to board Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House on May 25, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump is heading to Annapolis, Maryland to attend the US Naval Academy graduation and commissioning ceremony. (AFP)
Updated 25 May 2018
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Trump says summit with North Korea could still go ahead

  • In a letter to Kim, Trump said Thursday he would not go ahead with the summit in Singapore, following what the White House called a “trail of broken promises” by the North.
  • Trump said Friday that the meeting with Kim Jong Un could still go ahead.

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump, a day after his cancellation of a high-stakes summit with North Korea, said Friday that the meeting with Kim Jong Un could still go ahead.
“We’re going to see what happens,” Trump told reporters at the White House, after welcoming Pyongyang’s latest statement on the talks as “very good news.”
“It could even be the 12th,” he said in a reference to the original June 12 date set for the meeting in Singapore.
“We’re talking to them now,” Trump said of the North Koreans. “They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it. We’ll see what happens.”
North Korea, responding to Trump’s abrupt cancelation of the meeting over “hostility” from Pyongyang, said Friday that it is willing to talk to the United States “at any time.”
Trump welcomed the statement as “warm and productive.”
“We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!” the US president said in a tweet.
In a letter to Kim, Trump said Thursday he would not go ahead with the summit in Singapore, following what the White House called a “trail of broken promises” by the North.
Trump blamed “open hostility” from Kim’s regime for his decision to call off the talks, and warned North Korea against committing any “foolish or reckless acts.”
But Pyongyang’s reaction to the sudden U-turn has so far been conciliatory.
First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called Trump’s decision “unexpected” and “regrettable.” But he left the door open for talks, saying officials were willing “to sit face-to-face at any time.”
Just before Trump announced the cancelation of the meeting, North Korea declared it had “completely” dismantled its nuclear test site in the country’s far northeast, in a carefully choreographed goodwill gesture ahead of the summit.
But the chances of success for the unprecedented face-to-face had recently been thrown into doubt as threats were traded by both sides.


EU hits Venezuela vice president Delcy Rodriguez with sanctions: Statement

Updated 35 min 55 sec ago
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EU hits Venezuela vice president Delcy Rodriguez with sanctions: Statement

  • EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday formally approved travel bans and asset freezes
  • In January, Europe added seven senior Venezuelan officials including the interior minister to its sanctions blacklist

LUXEMBOURG: Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez was among 11 senior officials hit Monday by EU sanctions over irregularities in the reelection of President Nicolas Maduro, the bloc announced.
“The persons listed are responsible for human rights violations and for undermining democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela. The measures include a travel ban and an asset freeze,” the European Union said after its 28 foreign ministers backed the move at a meeting in Luxembourg.

After the 28 EU states pledged last month to "swiftly" punish Caracas with measures, EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday formally approved travel bans and asset freezes against the 11, who were to be named later in the official announcement.
The EU said last month that Maduro's re-election "lacked any credibility" and did not meet even "minimum international standards" for free and fair polls.
In January, Europe added seven senior Venezuelan officials including the interior minister to its sanctions blacklist, after in November enforcing an embargo on weapons and equipment that could be used for political repression.
Maduro won 68 percent of the vote in the May election, which was boycotted by the opposition and condemned as illegitimate by much of the international community.