North Korea remains open to dialogue with US — South Korea’s Moon

US President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in meet at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 14 January 2020

North Korea remains open to dialogue with US — South Korea’s Moon

  • ‘The US-North Korea talks are not active right now, but I would say both leaders — President Trump and Chairman Kim — continue to trust one another and continue with their efforts’

SEOUL: South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday it was too early to be pessimistic about stalled denuclearization dialogue between the United States and North Korea, adding that Pyongyang has not yet shut the door to more talks.
Moon said US President Donald Trump’s recent letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was a good sign that underscores his commitment to negotiations. Moon was speaking at a news conference at the presidential Blue House.
“Some were concerned about a new round of provocations just in time for Chairman Kim’s birthday,” Moon said. “Instead, President Trump sent him birthday wishes to stress his willingness to talk. It was a great idea.”
On Friday, a South Korean official said Trump had asked the South Koreans to pass on birthday greetings to North Korea.
Over the weekend, however, North Korea released a statement saying it had already directly received a letter from Trump and ridiculed South Korea for trying to “meddle” in US-North Korea relations.
In that statement, a North Korean foreign ministry official said that although Kim likes Trump personally, he would not make policy based on his personal feelings.
“North Korea made clear that the door to dialogue is not closed by saying they will come back to talks only when their demands are accepted,” Moon said of that North Korean response.
“The US-N.Korea talks are not active right now, but I would say both leaders — President Trump and Chairman Kim — continue to trust one another and continue with their efforts.”
South Korea has been increasingly sidelined as denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled.
In his New Year’s speech on Jan. 7, Moon said there was a “desperate need” for ways to improve ties with North Korea.
Rising tensions and international sanctions have blocked many of Moon’s proposals for inter-Korean projects, and Pyongyang has spent the past year criticizing Seoul as being beholden to the United States.
White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the United States had reached out to North Korea seeking to resume talks, according to an interview published on Sunday by Axios.
 


Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

Updated 01 June 2020

Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

  • Protesters managed to stop the truck and beat up the driver, who was later arrested by police
  • A New York City Police car earlier drove into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota: A tanker truck drove through thousands of people marching on a Minneapolis highway to protest the death of George Floyd on Sunday before protesters dragged the driver from the cab and beat him, according to a Reuters witness and authorities.
It did not appear any of the marchers were injured when the truck raced toward them on I-35, blowing its horn, sending protesters scattering before coming to a stop, according to the witness and a tweet by the Minnesota Department of Public Security (MNDPS).
Police arrived soon after and arrested the truck driver, who was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, MNDPS said.
Video of the incident shows protesters swarming the vehicle before it comes to a stop.

Protesters hand over to police the driver of a tanker truck after he drove into a crowd marching on 35W north bound highway in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 31, 2020. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

“The incident just underscores the volatile situation we have out there,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz told a news conference, adding he did not know the motives of the driver.
It marked the second incident in as many days of a vehicle driving at people protesting Floyd’s death after a New York City Police car was captured on video on Saturday driving into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects.
“Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators,” MNDPS tweeted.
Video showed the truck had a logo on its side for “Kenan Advantage Group,” an Ohio-based transportation company.
The company said in a statement that it was informed of an incident involving one of its independent contractors in Minneapolis and it would be cooperating with investigating authorities.
MNDPS did not identify the driver but said the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were investigating the incident as a criminal matter.