Kim’s sister says ‘no need’ for another US-North Korea summit

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un look on as documents are exchanged between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the North Korean leader’s sister Kim Yo Jong during their historic in Singapore on June 12, 2018. (AFP)
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Updated 10 July 2020

Kim’s sister says ‘no need’ for another US-North Korea summit

  • Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump first met in Singapore two years ago
  • Talks collapsed in 2019 over what Pyongyang would be willing to give up for sanctions relief

SEOUL: The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Friday there was “no need” for another summit with the United States unless Washington offered a “decisive change” in approach.
Kim and US President Donald Trump first met in Singapore two years ago but talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal have been stalled since their Hanoi summit collapsed in early 2019 over what the North would be willing to give up in exchange for sanctions relief.
Trump said this week he would “certainly” meet with Kim again “if I thought it was going to be helpful,” after speculation that he might pursue another summit if it could help his re-election chances in November.
But in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, Kim Yo Jong — who has emerged as one of her brother’s closest advisers — said: “There is no need for us to sit across with the US right now.”
If a summit was held, she said, “it is too obvious that it will only be used as boring boasting coming from someone’s pride.”
Denuclearization, she added, was “not possible at this point,” and could only happen alongside parallel “irreversible simultaneous major steps” by the other side — which she emphasized did not refer to sanctions lifting.
She did not go into specifics, but Washington stations 28,500 troops in the South to defend it against its neighbor, and has a range of military assets in Japan and the wider Pacific region.
Pyongyang insists that it needs its nuclear arsenal to deter against a possible US invasion.
Kim Yo Jong’s statement was only her personal view, she said, but the lengthy declaration appeared intended to send multiple messages.
She said she had watched the July 4 Independence Day celebrations in the US on television and had been given permission by her brother to “personally obtain, for sure, the DVD of the celebrations ... in the future.”
Her brother had “entrusted me with conveying his wishes to President Trump that he would certainly achieve great successes in his work,” she added.
Kim Jong Un declared in December an end to moratoriums on nuclear and ballistic missile tests, and Pyongyang has repeatedly said it has no intention to continue talks unless Washington drops what it describes as “hostile” policies toward the North.


Indian court accused of ‘betrayal’ over mosque verdict

Updated 2 min 17 sec ago

Indian court accused of ‘betrayal’ over mosque verdict

  • Senior BJP officials acquitted of conspiracy to destroy historic Muslim place of worship

NEW DELHI: A special court in the northern Indian city of Lucknow on Wednesday acquitted all 32 politicians and senior leaders from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of conspiring to demolish the 16th-century Babri Mosque in 1992, ruling that the move was not “preplanned.”

Muslims described the judgment as “yet another betrayal by the judiciary.”

The BJP under the leadership of then-party president Lal Krishna Advani led a political campaign in the late 1980s and early 1990s to build a temple on the site of the disputed 16th-century mosque in the eastern city of Ayodhya, claiming that it was built by the first Mughal ruler Babar. 

On Dec. 6, 1992, in response to a call by BJP leaders, hundreds of Hindu extremists gathered at the disputed site and demolished the mosque, resulting in religious riots across the country that claimed more than 2,000 lives.

Most of the BJP leaders and its affiliates were blamed for razing the Babri Mosque.

However, on Wednesday, Surendra Kumar Yadav, the judge at the special court, said that the demolition of the 500-year-old mosque was not pre-planned.

“They have been acquitted for lack of evidence,” defense lawyer K.K. Mishra said after the verdict.

Muslims reacted to the verdict with disappointment.

“The judgment pronounced by the special CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) court is wrong. We will appeal in the high court,” Zafaryab Jilani, general secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said.

The BJP was elated with the court’s decision.

“It is a moment of happiness for all of us; we chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ (Hail Ram) after the court’s verdict. The judgment vindicates my personal and BJP’s belief and commitment toward the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement. Along with millions of my countrymen, I now look forward to the completion of the beautiful Shri Ram Mandir (temple) at Ayodhya,” 92-year-old Advani, one of the accused in the case, said.

Another BJP leader and former party president, Murli Manohar Joshi, who was also among the accused, called the judgment “historic.”

“This proves that no conspiracy was hatched for the incident in Ayodhya. Our program and rallies were not part of any conspiracy,” Joshi, 86, said.

The verdict comes 10 months after the Supreme Court’s controversial judgment giving the disputed land to a Hindu trust and awarding five acres of land to Muslim petitioners to build a structure of their choice at another location in the city.

“It’s a betrayal by the court,” Ayodhya-based Hajji Mahboob, one of the original Muslim petitioners, told Arab News.

“So many BJP leaders have claimed openly that they were involved in demolishing the Babri Mosque. If the court gives this kind of one-sided verdict, I can only say that it is compromised,” he said.

“We know that there cannot be any justice for Muslims in this country because all the decisions given by the courts are wrong,” he added.

Reacting to the verdict, the main opposition Congress party said it was “counter to the Supreme Court judgment.” 

The apex court held that the demolition of the Babri mosque was clearly illegal and an “egregious violation of the rule of law.” 

“But the Special Court exonerated all the accused. It is clear that the decision of the Special Court runs counter to the decision of the Supreme Court,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

The demolition of the mosque was “a deep-rooted political conspiracy to destroy the country’s communal amity and brotherhood, and to usurp power at any cost,” he added.

According to Hilal Ahamd, of New Delhi-based think tank Center for the Study of Developing Societies, there is a growing belief among Muslims that India is a Hindu country and “they have to adjust themselves accordingly.”

Meanwhile, former chairman of the minority commission Zafar ul Islam Khan said the verdict will encourage the BJP to take the law into its own hands in the belief that the police and judiciary will protect them.

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, a New Delhi political analyst who has written several books on the Hindu right-wing politics, said: “The demolition of the mosque was a criminal offense and the failure to establish guilt after 28 years is unfortunate.”

He described the verdict as “a betrayal for Muslims and risky for the security of the country if its largest minority keeps getting marginalized like this.”