North Korea’s Kim sent message to Trump on nuclear talks -Chosun Ilbo

In this Jan. 1, 2018, file photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers his New Year's speech at an undisclosed place in North Korea. (AP)
Updated 31 December 2018

North Korea’s Kim sent message to Trump on nuclear talks -Chosun Ilbo

  • Neither the US State Department nor the US Embassy in Seoul had an immediate comment about the report of Kim’s message to Trump when contacted by Reuters

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a “conciliatory message” to US President Donald Trump amid stalled nuclear negotiations, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported on Monday.
Kim’s “letter-like” message to Trump was delivered on Friday through an unspecified channel, the newspaper reported, citing an unnamed diplomatic source. The report did not include details about the substance of the message but said they related to U.S-North Korea talks.
On Sunday, the office of South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said Kim had sent a letter to his counterpart in Seoul saying he wants to hold more inter-Korean summits next year to achieve denuclearization of the peninsula.
Neither the US State Department nor the US Embassy in Seoul had an immediate comment about the report of Kim’s message to Trump when contacted by Reuters.
At a summit with Trump in Singapore in June, Kim vowed to work toward denuclearization.
However, both sides have struggled to make progress on this matter. They are also yet to reschedule a meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol after an abrupt cancelation in November.
Pyongyang’s state media has credited Trump for his “willingness” to continue dialogue but has also slammed the State Department for tightening sanctions.
The stalled negotiations had an impact on inter-Korean ties, including Kim’s unrealized plan to visit Seoul this year as agreed their summit in Pyongyang in September.
The Chosun Ilbo report also said Kim wrote in the letter to Moon that he would come to the South “in the near future” after giving a New Year address on Tuesday.
Kim’s New Year address provides a rare public appearance for the young leader and is closely watched by neighboring countries as it is seen setting the tone for his domestic and foreign policies.
According to Moon’s spokesman, Kim said in the letter to the South Korean president that he was sorry his previously planned trip to Seoul this year did not take place, expressing his “strong resolve” to make it happen while monitoring the situation.


Philippine police say will arrest anyone flouting vaping ban

Updated 20 November 2019

Philippine police say will arrest anyone flouting vaping ban

  • The ban came days after Philippine health authorities reported the nation’s first vaping-related lung injury
  • The devices are already banned in several places such as Brazil, Singapore, Thailand and the US state of Massachusetts

MANILA: Philippine police were ordered Wednesday to arrest anyone caught vaping in public, just hours after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced he would ban e-cigarettes.
The abrupt prohibition, revealed by Duterte late Tuesday adds to a growing global backlash against a product once promoted as less harmful than tobacco smoking.
Duterte, a former smoker, called the devices “toxic” and said vaping introduced “chemicals” into the user’s body.
He ordered the arrest of anyone vaping publicly in a country that already has some of Asia’s toughest anti-smoking rules.
No formal, written order has been made public that spells out the scope of the ban or penalties for violations.
Duterte is notorious internationally for his deadly anti-narcotics crackdown, but he has also targeted tobacco with a wide-ranging ban on smoking in public.
Citing “the order of the president,” on Wednesday a statement from the head of the Philippine police ordered “effective today, all police units nationwide to enforce the ban on use of vapes; ensure that all violators will be arrested.”
The ban came days after Philippine health authorities reported the nation’s first vaping-related lung injury, which resulted in a 16-year-old girl being hospitalized.
Vaping has taken off in the Philippines, with speciality shops and vapers puffing away in public a common sight.
E-cigarette users were caught off guard by the ban and questioned the utility of arresting people who, at worst, were hurting themselves.
“It’s inappropriate. In any case, we don’t hurt people, the environment or animals,” said 22-year-old student Alexis Martin.
“Why are vapers being targeted?”
E-cigarettes warm flavored liquid to produce vapor that is free of the estimated 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, but does contain a number of substances that could potentially be harmful.
Critics say that apart from being harmful in themselves, the multiple exotic flavors of e-cigarette liquids appeal particularly to youngsters and risk getting them addicted to nicotine.
The devices have become hugely popular in the past decade but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the United States is feeding caution about the product, already banned in some places.
In September 2019 India became the latest country to ban the import, sale, production and advertising of e-cigarettes, citing in particular concerns for its youth.
The devices are already banned in several places such as Brazil, Singapore, Thailand and the US state of Massachusetts.