Pistorius family distances itself from gun comments

Updated 05 March 2013
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Pistorius family distances itself from gun comments

JOHANNESBURG: The family of star sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who is charged with murdering his girlfriend, on Tuesday rejected his father’s assertion that South Africa’s high crime rates necessitated gun ownership.
The family was “deeply concerned” about the comments Henke Pistorius made to the British newspaper The Telegraph, the family’s publicist said in a statement.
Henke Pistorius said his family’s 55 guns were for protection against the high crime levels against whites under the ANC government, the daily reported.
But family spokesman Arnold Pistorius said that “the Pistorius family own weapons purely for sport and hunting purposes.”
“The comments doesn’t (sic) represent the views of Oscar or the rest of the Pistorius family,” he added.
Prosecutors have charged the Paralympic and Olympic athlete with the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.
Pistorius denies this, saying he shot Steenkamp repeatedly through a locked bathroom door having mistaken her for an intruder.
The incident happened at his house inside a high security housing estate, east of the capital Pretoria.
Police recovered a 9mm pistol at the scene of the shooting.
Several reports of the double amputee’s fascination with guns have emerged since his arrest.
In January the sprinter, who is a member of a firearm collectors association, accidentally discharged a friend’s pistol at an upmarket Johannesburg restaurant.
The court also heard that he had pending gun licences for several firearms.
Henke Pistorius’s interview had not been cleared with their “media liaison team,” said Arnold Pistorius.
The family was still mourning Steenkamp’s death.
“For this reason and out of respect for the Steenkamp family, the Pistorius family will not grant any media interviews at this time,” he said.
Official statistics show that 42 people are killed per day in South Africa, and crime is rife in poor overcrowded areas.
According to Gun Free South Africa, there were 1.5 million licensed gun owners and 2.9 million registered guns in 2011. The population is around 52 million people.


Korean summit starts with a handshake, after year of tension

orth Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, poses with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a photo inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone. (AP)
Updated 27 April 2018
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Korean summit starts with a handshake, after year of tension

  • Their hands still clasped, Moon invited the North Korean leader into the South for the first time ever
  • North and South Korean officials conducted three days of on-site rehearsals to map out virtually every move of the leaders’ initial encounter

GOYANG, South Korea: After a year of tensions, the first North-South Korea summit in more than a decade began Friday with a handshake.
Surrounded by bodyguards and other members of his delegation, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un emerged right on cue from a large building on the northern side of the border in the truce village of Panmunjom, walked down a wide flight of stairs and strolled confidently toward South Korean President Moon Jae-in to begin the historic meeting.
Smiling broadly and exchanging greetings, the two shook hands for a long time, exchanging greetings and looking from outward appearances like old friends.
Moon had awaited Kim’s arrival at “Freedom House,” a building on the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone. As soon as he saw Kim come out, he walked to meet him at the border so that their handshake would be at the most symbolic of locations, each leader standing on his side of the military demarcation line that separates North from South.
Their hands still clasped, Moon invited the North Korean leader into the South for the first time ever, just one step over a line marked by an ankle-high strip of concrete.
After he did, Kim, in return, gestured for Moon to step into the North. They both did, and then returned to the South together, hands held.
Kim was then met by South Korean children bearing flowers and a military honor guard before he headed into the summit hall to sign a guestbook, visibly out of breath.
Like everything about Friday’s summit, the handshake and all the atmospherics around it were carefully orchestrated and agreed upon in advance. North and South Korean officials conducted three days of on-site rehearsals to map out virtually every move of the leaders’ initial encounter.
Even so, the moment was a striking contrast to the rising fears of conflict that dominated relations just one year ago, when Kim was test-launching long-range missiles at a record pace and trading crude insults with US President Donald Trump.
It was the second big North-South handshake in as many months — coming after Moon and Kim’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, who accompanied him on Friday, shook hands at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South in February.
That seemingly impromptu moment came as a joint North-South team marched into the Olympic Stadium, part of an effort to use the Games to try to improve relations.
Moon, elated at the sight, turned and shook the hand of Kim’s sister, who was seated right behind him in the VIP box on the first trip to the South ever by a member of the North’s ruling family. The image of the two beaming with pride stood out all the more because US Vice President Mike Pence, representing the White House, sat stone-faced nearby.
Photos of that handshake were top news the next day in both Koreas.
The Koreas have a host of difficult and often seemingly intractable obstacles ahead of them, but no matter the outcome of the summit, they seemed acutely aware that the photos of Kim and Moon’s handshake will be bound for the history books.