North Korea urges Trump to be ‘bold’ on denuclearization

North Korea has urged Donald Trump to be bold in his stance against the US opposition. (AFP/File)
Updated 18 August 2018
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North Korea urges Trump to be ‘bold’ on denuclearization

  • Trump and the North’s leader Kim Jong Un held a groundbreaking summit in Singapore in June
  • North Korea has demanded that America agree to declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War

SEOUL: North Korean state media blamed Donald Trump’s political opponents for the “deadlock” over denuclearization on Saturday, urging the US President to act boldly to make progress on the thorny issue.
Trump and the North’s leader Kim Jong Un held a groundbreaking summit in Singapore in June, which the US leader touted as a historic breakthrough.
At the meeting the pair struck a vague agreement to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, but there has been little movement since.
Meanwhile the North has criticized Washington for its “gangster-like” and “unilateral” demands for the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of Pyongyang’s atomic arsenal.
On Saturday Rodong Sinmun, the North’s most prominent daily, praised Trump for seeking to improve US-North Korea ties and achieve world peace, which it said would be the “feat of the century.”
“However, he faces too many opponents,” it said in a signed commentary.
The newspaper said Democrats and even some Republicans are hampering Trump’s efforts for their own partisan interests while media hostile to Trump are undermining his policies.
It accused bureaucrats and Trump’s aides of “speaking and moving in contradiction to the president’s will” and “distorting facts and covering up his eyes and ears in order to mislead him to a wrong decision.”
North Korea has demanded that America agree to declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War, accusing the US of failing to reciprocate a series of its “goodwill measures.”
These include ending its nuclear and missile testing, the destruction of a nuclear testing site and handing over the remains of US troops killed in the Korean War.
When Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April for their first summit, they agreed to push for a declaration of an end to the Korean War this year.
But US officials insist denuclearization of the North should be realized before such an event takes place.
Trump’s political opponents are “raising their voice, dismissing the Singapore joint statement and boycotting a declaration of an end to the war,” Rodong Sinmun said.
“The current deadlock in the DPRK-US relations requires President Trump’s bold decision,” it added.
It also urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to brush aside speculation from opponents over the North’s intentions.
Pompeo, who is preparing for his fourth visit to the North, said Thursday his team was “continuing to make progress” with the North, expressing hope that “we can make a big step here before too long.”


US women detained for speaking Spanish sue border agency

In this Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, photo provided by the ACLU of Montana, Martha Hernandez, left, and Ana Suda pose in front of a convenience store in Havre, Mont., where they say they were detained by a U.S Border Patrol agent for speaking Spanish last year. (AP)
Updated 16 February 2019
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US women detained for speaking Spanish sue border agency

  • The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed suit against US Customs and Border Protection on behalf of the women, who live in Havre

LOS ANGELES: Two US women detained by a border patrol agent in the state of Montana after he heard them speaking Spanish in a grocery store have sued the country’s border protection agency.
Video of the incident — which took place last May in the small town of Havre — showed Agent Paul O’Neal tell Ana Suda and Martha Hernandez that he had asked to see their identification as it was unusual to hear Spanish speakers in the state, which borders Canada.
“It has to do with you guys speaking Spanish in the store in a state where it’s predominately English speaking,” he said.
“It’s not illegal, it’s just very unheard of up here,” he told the women.
The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed suit against US Customs and Border Protection on behalf of the women, who live in Havre.
Suda and Hernandez say in the lawsuit that O’Neal detained them for 40 minutes.
California native Hernandez and Suda, who was born in Texas, said they were standing in line to buy milk and eggs when the agent — who was standing behind them — commented on Hernandez’s accent, and asked the women where they were born.
“I asked, ‘Are you serious’?” Suda said, according to the lawsuit. “Agent O’Neal responded that he was ‘dead serious’.”
The two women say they were then asked to show identification and questioned outside the store, before eventually being released.
“The incident itself is part of a broader pattern that we’ve seen of abusive tactics by border patrol which has gotten worse since the Trump administration, which has left border patrol officers feeling emboldened to take actions like this,” Cody Wofsy, an attorney with the ACLU, told AFP.
“This has been devastating for (Suda and Hernandez),” he added.
“Havre is a small town, they felt ostracized and humiliated and made to feel unwelcome in their own town and in their own country.”
He noted the United States has no official language, with Spanish by far the most common language spoken after English.
A Customs and Border Protection spokesman declined to comment on the case.
“As a matter of policy, US Customs and Border Protection does not comment on pending litigation,” he told AFP in a statement. “However, lack of comment should not be construed as agreement or stipulation with any of the allegations.”