S.Korea’s Moon still hopes to host Kim this year

Moon and Kim have met three times in 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 04 December 2018

S.Korea’s Moon still hopes to host Kim this year

  • Moon said a visit by Kim to the South would also improve US-North Korea relations
  • Moon emphasised the impact Kim’s presence in South Korea would have on the two nations

AUCKLAND: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could still visit Seoul for the first time in the next few weeks, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday, describing the possible trip as a major boost in efforts to make the peninsula nuclear-free.
Moon and Kim have met three times in 2018 amid warming ties between the two Koreas, with Seoul hoping to host a first-ever visit by Kim to the South before year’s end.
But prospects of another meeting in coming weeks have dimmed as denuclearization talks have stalled, prompting Moon to say that the planned visit’s timing should not overshadow its historic nature.
“There is a possibility that Chairman Kim Jong Un’s visit to Seoul may be made within this year, but there’s more important things than the timing,” he said in translated remarks during a visit to New Zealand.
“Whether it’s this year or not isn’t that important, what’s important is that the North Korea leader’s visit to South Korea will definitely accelerate the denuclearization process in the Korean peninsula.”
Moon said a visit by Kim to the South would also improve US-North Korea relations as Kim and President Donald Trump look to follow up their June summit in Singapore.
“I believe that our efforts will definitely give a positive impetus to the second US-North Korea summit meeting,” he said.

“President Trump and I share a view in that regard.”
Moon emphasised the impact Kim’s presence in South Korea would have on the two nations.
“This will be the first time that the North Korean leader will visit South Korea since Korea was divided into two countries,” he said.
“Although there’s no timeframe set, that’s still very meaningful. We can improve South and North Korean relations as well as attain permanent peace on the Korean peninsula and denuclearization.”
North and South Korea have begun to remove land mines and destroy some military bunkers along their common border as part of the detente.
However, Washington is taking a more cautious approach toward Pyongyang amid sparring over interpretation of a vaguely worded denuclearization document signed at the Singapore summit.
Trump said on Saturday that he hoped to organize a second summit with Kim in early 2019.


Fire in Indian hospital kills 5 coronavirus patients

Updated 1 min ago

Fire in Indian hospital kills 5 coronavirus patients

NEW DELHI: A fire broke out early Friday in a privately-run hospital treating coronavirus patients in western India, killing at least five of them and injuring 28 others.
Police officer K.N. Bhukan said fire engines restricted the blaze to one floor of the hospital and extinguished it within 30 minutes.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
The Press Trust of India news agency said the fire started in the intensive care unit of Uday Shivanand Hospital that was treating 33 coronavirus patients.
Some of the patients with fire burns were evacuated to another hospital in Rajkot, a city in western Gujarat state, nearly 1,100 kilometers ( 685 miles) southwest of New Delhi.
In August, a fire killed eight coronavirus patients in a hospital in Ahmedabad, another key city in Gujarat state.
Poor maintenance and lack of proper firefighting equipment often causes deaths in India.