South Korea’s Moon Jae-in seeks fourth summit with Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, hosts South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Samjiyon guesthouse near Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean nation, in this September 20, 2018 photo. (Korean Central News Agency via KNS/AFP)
Updated 15 April 2019

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in seeks fourth summit with Kim Jong Un

  • Moon Jae-in willing to go anywhere to meet Kim Jong Un for a fourth summit
  • Kim Jong Un earlier said he was open to a third meeting with US President Donald Trump if Washington offered ‘mutually acceptable terms’

SEOUL: South Korean President Moon Jae-in is willing to go anywhere to meet Kim Jong Un for a fourth summit, he said Monday, hailing the North Korean leader’s willingness to salvage high-stakes talks with the United States.
Kim said Friday he was open to a third meeting with US President Donald Trump if Washington offered “mutually acceptable terms” after their second summit in Hanoi broke down in part over Pyongyang’s demands for immediate sanctions relief.
Moon, who brokered the talks between Washington and Pyongyang, welcomed Kim’s “firm commitment for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” and called for what would be his fourth meeting with the North’s leader.
“As soon as North Korea is ready, I hope the two Koreas will be able to sit down together, regardless of venue and form,” Moon told a meeting with his top aides.
“I will spare no effort to ensure that the upcoming inter-Korean summit becomes a stepping stone for an even bigger opportunity and a more significant outcome.”
The remarks come after Moon’s brief summit with Trump at the White House last week as he tries to reignite the stalled diplomacy.
Moon, who has long backed engagement with the nuclear-armed North, has been pushing for the resumption of inter-Korean economic projects, but doing so would fall foul of international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.
Trump and Kim held their first landmark summit in Singapore last June, where they signed a vaguely-worded agreement on the “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
The failure to reach agreement at their second summit in Hanoi has raised questions over the future of the accord.
Washington has blamed the deadlock on the North’s demands for sanctions relief in return for limited nuclear disarmament, but Pyongyang said it had wanted only some of the measures eased.
In a speech to Pyongyang’s rubber-stamp parliament on Friday, Kim said the Hanoi meeting raised questions about Washington’s intention but added he will wait until the end of the year for the US to make “a courageous decision.”
Trump has welcomed further talks with Kim, insisting their personal relationship was “excellent.”


Hong Kong protesters sing ‘God Save the Queen’ in plea to former colonial power

Updated 15 September 2019

Hong Kong protesters sing ‘God Save the Queen’ in plea to former colonial power

  • The Chinese-ruled territory has been rocked by weeks of sometimes violent pro-democracy protests
  • Demonstrators angry about what they see as creeping interference by Beijing in their city’s affairs despite a promise of autonomy

HONG KONG: Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters singing “God Save the Queen” and waving Union Jack flags rallied outside the British Consulate on Sunday demanding that the former colonial power ensures China honors its commitments to the city’s freedoms.
The Chinese-ruled territory has been rocked by weeks of sometimes violent pro-democracy protests, with demonstrators angry about what they see as creeping interference by Beijing in their city’s affairs despite a promise of autonomy.
The Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed in 1984, lays out Hong Kong’s future after its return to China in 1997, a “one country, two systems” formula that ensures freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.
“Sino-British Joint Declaration is VOID,” one placard read. “SOS Hong Kong,” read another.
“One country, two systems is dead,” they shouted in English under the sub-tropical sun, some carrying the colonial flag also bearing the Union Jack. “Free Hong Kong.”
With many young people looking for routes out of Hong Kong, campaigners say Britain should change the status of the British National (Overseas) passport, a category created after Britain returned Hong Kong to China. The passports allow a holder to visit Britain for six months, but do not come with an automatic right to live or work there.
“I am here to demand the UK protect our citizens’ rights in Hong Kong and speak up for Hong Kong under the Joint Declaration,” Jacky Tsang, 25, told Reuters.
The spark for the protests was planned legislation, now withdrawn, that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial, despite Hong Kong having its own much-respected independent judiciary.
The protests have since broadened into calls for universal suffrage.
China says it is committed to the “one country, two systems” arrangement, denies meddling and says the city is an internal Chinese issue. It has accused foreign powers, particularly the United States and Britain, of fomenting the unrest and told them to mind their own business.
Britain says it has a legal responsibility to ensure China abides by the 1984 declaration.
“The Joint Declaration is a legally binding treaty between the UK and China that remains as valid today as it was when it was signed and ratified over 30 years ago,” a British Foreign Office spokeswoman said in June.
“As a co-signatory, the UK government will continue to defend our position.”
But it was not immediately clear what Britain could or would want to do defend that position. It is pinning its hopes on closer trade and investment cooperation with China, which since 1997 has risen to become the world’s second-largest economy, after it leaves the European Union at the end of next month.
The Civil Human Rights Front has also called for a mass rally in Victoria Park, just to the east of the central business district, but police have denied permission because of earlier clashes after huge gatherings.
Protesters are expected to turn up early in the afternoon anyway.