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.”


Hong Kong bans pro-independence party

In this file photo taken on August 5, 2016, Andy Chan (R), leader of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), gives a press conference at the start of a rally near the government's headquarters in Hong Kong. (AFP)
Updated 47 min 57 sec ago
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Hong Kong bans pro-independence party

  • The ban is likely to raise further questions about Beijing’s growing influence in the former British colony, which was promised semi-autonomy as part of the 1997 handover

HONG KONG: Authorities in Hong Kong on Monday took an unprecedented step against separatist voices by banning a political party that advocates independence for the southern Chinese territory on national security grounds.
John Lee, the territory’s secretary for security, announced that the Hong Kong National Party will be prohibited from operation from Monday.
Lee’s announcement did not provide further details. But Hong Kong’s security bureau had previously said in a letter to the National Party’s leader, 27-year-old Andy Chan, that the party should be dissolved “in the interests of national security or public safety, public order or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” Chan had no immediate comment.
That letter had cited a national security law that has not been invoked since 1997. The ban is likely to raise further questions about Beijing’s growing influence in the former British colony, which was promised semi-autonomy as part of the 1997 handover. Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials have warned separatist activity would not be tolerated.
Chan, the National Party leader, had previously told The Associated Press that police approached him with documents detailing his speeches and activities since the party’s formation in 2016.
The party was founded in response to frustration about Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong. Despite a promise of autonomy, activists complain mainland influence over its democratic elections is increasing.
Chan and other pro-independence candidates were disqualified from 2016 elections to the Hong Kong legislature after they refused to sign a pledge saying Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China. The Hong Kong National Party has never held any seats on the council.