North Korean envoy en route to Hanoi ahead of Trump-Kim summit: report

North Korean negotiator Kim Hyok Chol, center in blue tie, at Beijing international airport after disembarking an Air Koryo flight from Pyongyang on Tuesday, February 19. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2019
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North Korean envoy en route to Hanoi ahead of Trump-Kim summit: report

  • Kim Hyok Chol arrived in Beijing Tuesday morning and was expected to board a plane bound for Hanoi later in the day
  • Kim Hyok Chol and his US counterpart Stephen Biegun were engaged in three days of talks in Pyongyang earlier this month
SEOUL: The North Korean special representative for the US arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, apparently en route to Vietnam to meet his Washington counterpart ahead of a second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.
Kim Hyok Chol arrived in the Chinese capital at around 10 am (0200 GMT) and was expected to board a plane bound for Hanoi later in the day.
His trip comes three days after Kim Jong Un’s de-facto chief of staff, Kim Chang Son, landed in Hanoi to discuss protocol and security matters with the US team ahead of the summit on February 27-28.
Kim Hyok Chol and his US counterpart Stephen Biegun were engaged in three days of talks in Pyongyang earlier this month, exploring each side’s positions on denuclearization ahead of the much-anticipated meeting.
Biegun said they had been productive, but more dialogue was needed.
“We have some hard work to do with the DPRK between now and then,” Biegun said, adding that he was “confident that if both sides stay committed, we can make real progress here.”
The US State Department said talks during Biegun’s trip explored Trump and Kim Jong Un’s “commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming US-DPRK relations and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
Specifically, discussions on declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War could have been on the table, with Biegun last month saying Trump was “ready to end this war.”
Alex Wong, US deputy assistant secretary of state for North Korea, is already in the Vietnamese capital preparing for the summit.
Biegun is expected to fly there soon from Washington to resume talks with Kim Hyok Chol.
Experts say tangible progress on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons will be needed for the second summit if it is to avoid being dismissed as “reality TV.”


Man arrested for London mosque shooting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Man arrested for London mosque shooting

  • The suspect was charged with possession of firearms with intent to cause harm or fear
  • Police say the suspect may have had a fight earlier in a nearby street

DUBAI: A man has been arrested after he fired a gun in a London mosque, UK daily The Metro reported.

The man entered the Seven Kings Mosque in London, on Thursday, May 9, while worshippers performed Ramadan prayers and fired a gun, the report added.

He was arrested on charges of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
There were no reports of injuries or damages to the building, ballistic evidence suggests the detainee may have used a blank-firing handgun, police said.

Police investigations said it is possible the incident started after an earlier argument in a nearby street.

A mosque attendee, Ibraheem Hussain, said he heard the gunshot almost half an hour after prayers began, adding that he was concerned for the safety of worshippers.

“(Christchurch) comes to mind, it’s crazy to think this would happen in London, especially after everything that has happened,” he told Metro.