Pyongyang needs ‘security guarantees’ in exchange for denuclearization: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their meeting in Vladivostok on Thursday, April 25, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 25 April 2019

Pyongyang needs ‘security guarantees’ in exchange for denuclearization: Putin

VLADIVOSTOK: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that North Korea needs security guarantees and that denuclearization could only be achieved through international law.

North Korea “needs guarantees of its security, the preservation of its sovereignty,” Putin said after talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world.”

Putin said he would discuss his talks with Kim with Washington.

“There are no secrets here, no conspiracies... Chairman Kim himself asked us to inform the American side of our position,” Putin said.

He said Russia’s interests coincide with those of Washington in that both countries are for “complete denuclearization.”

“As far as reducing the threat of nuclear conflicts is concerned, this is certainly a common priority,” he said.

“I was given the impression that the North Korean leader shares the same point of view. And we need guarantees of security, that’s all. We need to think about this all together.”

Italian hostage freed after 3 years in Syria returns home

Updated 23 May 2019

Italian hostage freed after 3 years in Syria returns home

  • The man who disappeared traveled to Turkey in October 2016
  • An official said the man was kidnapped by a criminal gang

MILAN: Italy’s defense minister says an Italian who had been held hostage in Syria for three years has been released and returned to Italy.

Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta late Wednesday confirmed Alessandro Sandrini’s arrival at Rome’s Ciampino airport and thanked Italian intelligence services for their role in his liberation. Details were not disclosed.

Sandrini, who is in his early 30s, disappeared after traveling to Turkey in October 2016, and wasn’t heard from for over a year. In July 2018, a dramatic video showed Sandrini wearing an orange jumpsuit flanked by masked men brandishing automatic weapons, appealing to Italy to help free him as quickly as possible.

A local government in Syria affiliated with the Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Hayat Tahir-al Sham said he had been kidnapped by a criminal gang.