Connect with us

FOREIGN NEWS

North Korea ready to denuclearize if security guarantees are met, Putin says after summit – National

Published

on

North Korea ready to denuclearize if security guarantees are met Putin says after summit National

[ad_1]

Russian President Vladimir Putin said after his summit with Kim Jong Un Thursday that the North Korean leader is ready to proceed toward denuclearization — but needs solid security guarantees to do so.

Putin said that he will be willing to share details of the summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, adding that “there are no secrets.” He noted that Kim himself encouraged him to explain certain nuances of Pyongyang’s position to Trump.


READ MORE:
Vladimir Putin arrives in Vladivostok for summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

The summit on Russky Island, across a bridge from the far-eastern port city of Vladivostok, reflected Russia’s effort to emerge as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff, a role that would raise Moscow’s global clout and its leverage with Washington.

Putin emphasized that the North Korean leader is ready to move toward a nuclear-free status but would only proceed when he gets solid guarantees. He did not, however, specify what those guarantees would look like. “Above all, he focuses on protecting national interests and security,” Putin said.

Earlier in the day, Putin voiced confidence that Kim’s visit will “help better understand what should be done to settle the situation on the Korean Peninsula, what we can do together, what Russia can do to support the positive processes going on now.”

WATCH: Kim Jong Un and Putin call for closer relations at first-ever summit





Kim’s meeting with Putin follows a year of intense diplomacy the North hopes will help it get out from under international sanctions over its nuclear weapons and long-range missile programs. Kim has already held four summits with Chinese President Xi Jinping, three with South Korean President Moon Jae-on and two with President Donald Trump.

Kim’s second summit with Trump in February ended without any agreements, and his trip to Russia reflects his desire to put more pressure on Washington and show some independence from Beijing as well.

For Putin, the meeting offers a chance to increase his role as a potential broker. He immediately emphasized that he was willing to share details of the talks with Trump.

The Russian leader emphasized that Moscow and Washington both want Pyongyang to denuclearize. When he sat down for talks with Kim, he praised him for engaging in dialogue with the U.S.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands during their talks at Far East Federal University on Russky Island in Vladivostok, Russia, April 25, 2019.

Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool via REUTERS

“We welcome your efforts to develop an inter-Korean dialogue and normalize North Korea’s relations with the United States,” Putin told Kim.

Following their one-on-one meeting at the start of broader talks involving officials from both sides, Putin and Kim said they had a good discussion.

“We discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula and exchanged opinions about what should be done to improve the situation and how to do it,” Putin said. Kim described the talks as “candid and meaningful.”

“The reason we visited Russia this time is to meet and share opinions with your excellency, President Putin, and also share views on the Korean Peninsula and regional political situation, which has garnered the urgent attention of the world, and also hold deep discussions on strategic ways to pursue stability in the regional political situation and on the matters of jointly managing the situation,” Kim said.

WATCH: North Korean leader hopes meetings will be ‘successful’





Looking confident but a bit stiff, Kim also congratulated the Russian leader on his re-election to another six-year term last year.

“Ceaselessly bolstering and developing strategic and traditional relations between North Korea and Russia… is my and my government’s firm and unwavering position,” Kim said later at a state banquet, where he made a toast.

Since the Trump-Kim talks in February ended without a deal because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions, there have been no publicly known high-level contacts between the U.S. and North Korea – although both sides say they are still open to a third summit.

Kim wants the U.S. to ease the sanctions to reciprocate for some partial disarmament steps he took last year. But the U.S. maintains the sanctions will stay in place until North Korea makes more significant denuclearization moves.

North Korea has increasingly expressed frustration at the deadlocked negotiations. Last week, it demanded U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from the talks and strongly criticized national security adviser John Bolton.

READ MORE: North Korea wants Mike Pompeo out of nuclear talks, wants someone more ‘mature,’ state media says

In Seoul, President Moon said Thursday he’ll try to hold a fourth summit with Kim and facilitate the resumption of U.S.-North Korea talks.

Kim arrived in Vladivostok Wednesday aboard his private train and offered what is possibly his first interview ever with a foreign media outlet. He told Russian state television that he was hoping that his first visit to Russia would “successful and useful.” He evoked his father’s “great love for Russia” and said that he intends to strengthen ties between the two countries. The late Kim Jong Il made three trips to Russia, the last time in 2011.

Like the U.S., Russia has strongly opposed Pyongyang’s nuclear bid. Moscow was part of six-nation talks on the North Korean standoff that fell apart after Pyongyang’s withdrawal in 2009.

Putin said he wasn’t sure if the talks could be revived, but he emphasized that international involvement will be needed to discuss guarantees for Pyongyang.

Dmitri Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said ahead of Thursday’s talks that Putin will likely encourage Kim to continue constructive talks with the U.S., reflecting Russia’s own worry about the North nuclear and missile programs. “Russia can’t be expected to side with North Korea and, let’s say, support the North Koreans all the way in the Security Council,” he said.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un attend an official reception following their talks in Vladivostok, Russia April 25, 2019.

Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS

Trenin said Moscow doubts the North could be persuaded to fully abandon its nuclear weapons, considering that a “mission impossible.”

“North Korea will not give up the only guarantee of the survival of the North Korean state and its regime,” Trenin said.

Russia would also like to gain broader access to North Korea’s mineral resources, including rare metals. Pyongyang, for its part, covets Russia’s electricity supplies and investment to modernize its dilapidated Soviet-built industrial plants, railways and other infrastructure.

Vladivostok, a city of more than half a million on the Sea of Japan, faced gridlock on its roads as traffic was blocked in the city centre due to Kim’s visit.

The authorities have temporarily closed the waters around Russky Island to all maritime traffic.

Kim was expected to return to Pyongyang on Friday.



[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FOREIGN NEWS

Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Published

on

Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

Continue Reading

FOREIGN NEWS

Harris accepts VP nomination

Published

on

Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

Continue Reading

FOREIGN NEWS

Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

Published

on

Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

Continue Reading

Trending