North Korea to hold nuclear talks with US on Saturday

A resident watches a television file footage of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom on June 30, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 01 October 2019

North Korea to hold nuclear talks with US on Saturday

  • North Korean officials ‘ready’ to enter the discussions
  • Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been gridlocked since a second summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump in February

SEOUL: North Korea on Tuesday said it will hold working-level nuclear talks with the US on Saturday, signalling the resumption of much-anticipated negotiations after the collapse of a summit in February.
The two sides agreed to have “preliminary contact” on October 4 and hold working-level negotiations the following day, the North’s vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
“It is my expectation that the working-level negotiations would accelerate the positive development of the DPRK-US relations,” she added without disclosing the talks’ venue.
North Korean officials were “ready” to enter the discussions, she said.
Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been gridlocked since a second summit between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in February ended without a deal.
The two agreed to restart working-level dialogue during an impromptu meeting at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas in June, but the North’s anger at a US refusal to cancel joint military deals with South Korea placed the process on hold.
Relations thawed last month after Trump fired his hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, who Pyongyang had repeatedly denounced as a warmonger.
North Korea’s chief negotiator also responded positively to Trump’s suggestion that the two sides try a “new method” of approaching their discussions.
Trump had criticized Bolton’s suggestion of the “Libyan model” for North Korea, a reference to a denuclearization deal with the African nation’s former dictator Muammar Qaddafi — who was killed after being deposed in 2011.
Pyongyang had bristled at that comment, which Trump said had “set us back very badly.”
Despite the gridlock, Pyongyang has continued to praise Trump, calling him “bold” and “wise.”
South Korea’s presidential Blue House welcomed the resumption of dialogue between the North and the US.
“We hope to see the realization of practical steps toward permanent peace regime and complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula through the upcoming talks,” said spokeswoman Ko Min-jung.


Minneapolis braces for more riots, arson following police killing of Afro-American George Floyd

Updated 30 May 2020

Minneapolis braces for more riots, arson following police killing of Afro-American George Floyd

CHICAGO: Minneapolis exploded into riots and arson this week after an African-American suspected of handling counterfeit money was killed on Monday during his arrest by two city police officers.

Videos on social media showed an officer placing his knee on George Floyd’s neck as he was handcuffed and being restrained on the street by the kerb. The 46-year-old said that he could not breathe, but police insisted that Floyd was “resisting arrest” and had to be forcibly restrained.

The officer who was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck was arrested on Friday and charged with murder.

Floyd was pronounced dead at the scene and his family immediately called for an independent probe.

His family turned to civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who said the family’s first concern was to seek an autopsy independent of the police because of a lack of trust in law enforcement and to give their deceased family member a proper funeral.

“Is it two justice systems in America?” Crump said as he addressed the media. “One for black America and one for white America? We can’t have that. We have to have equal justice for the United States of America and that’s what I think the protesters are crying out for.”

Protests spread across the country and turned violent as arson destroyed property, including the police station where the police officers were assigned.

President Donald Trump denounced the rioters as “thugs” and warned that he might send in the military “to take control.” 

Minneapolis Police handed the investigation into Floyd’s death to the FBI and US Justice Department on Thursday night. Officials from the FBI and US Justice Department promised that the probe would be “robust and meticulous.”

The media’s role in the protests came sharply into focus when, early on Friday, CNN’s Omar Jimenez was arrested along with his TV crew.

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota, who looked on as her colleague was being arrested, told viewers: “If you are just tuning in you are watching our correspondent Omar Jimenez being arrested by state police in Minnesota. We are not sure why our correspondent is being arrested.”