Donald Trump will be under political pressure in Singapore this week to ensure any deal he makes with North Korea is tougher than the one Barack Obama struck with Iran. The comparison may be misleading.Geography and history make the two negotiations fundamentally different, former diplomats and nuclear disarmament experts say. North Korea’s neighbors have lived with its nuclear arsenal for years now. Iran sits near weak and failed states with fragile borders and histories, as well as Israel, heightening the risk that even the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran could provoke war.“It’s all about geography and one’s neighbors,’’ said Mark Fitzpatrick, a former U.S. diplomat who served both in South Korea and as acting assistant secretary of state for non-proliferation. He now heads the U.S. office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.“The primary difference is that America’s major ally in the region, Israel, cannot and will not … [Read more...] about Trump Needs a Tough North Korea Deal, But Not Because of Iran
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United Nations Secretary-Genera Antonio Guterres on Thursday said he was optimistic about the prospects for progress on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program after recent diplomatic moves by Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington, Reuters reports. “I am optimistic ... I think now things are on track for a meaningful negotiation,” he said during an interview on BBC Radio 4. “It’s in the interest of the North Koreans that have been dramatically impacted by the sanctions, it’s in the interest of South Korea that needs peace and security, it’s in the interest of China that was always against a nuclear North Korea but also wants a good security framework in the region, it’s in the interest of the United States because for the United States the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula has always been a main objective.” Follow Trend on Telegram. Only most interesting and important news … [Read more...] about U.N. chief Guterres sees meaningful negotiation ahead on North Korea
Friday’s historic inter-Korean summit is already oozing with overloaded symbolism, from subtle touches in the meeting room décor to the meticulously planned menu designed to evoke memories of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s more carefree childhood in Switzerland. A painting portraying the soft blue and purple hues of North Korea’s Mount Kumgang will loom over the second floor meeting room in the Peace House on the demilitarised borderzone between North and South where the nations’ two leaders will sit on chairs etched with carvings of their shared peninsula. Kim Jong-un will step south of the border at 9.30am (2.30am BST), the first North Korean leader ever to do so. In tow will be his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong and, reported The Washington Post, his personal portaloo, to safeguard sensitive data about his health. But as they sit across a grand oval wooden table - exactly 2,018 millimetres apart - and later enjoy a banquet of … [Read more...] about Could the North Korea summit really convince Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons?
A few hundred foreigners lined up in Kim Il Sung stadium Sunday for the Pyongyang marathon, less than half of last year's contingent with Western tourism to North Korea battered by nuclear tensions and a US travel ban. A packed crowd in the 47,000-capacity arena cheered and applauded before the runners streamed out of the stadium beneath portraits of the North's founder and his son and successor Kim Jong Il. The event -– part of the celebrations for the anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth in 1912 -- is normally the annual peak for Western tourism to the isolated country, offering visitors the chance to run or jog through the streets of Pyongyang. But fears of conflict reached fresh heights last year as the North made rapid progress in its nuclear and missile ambitions under Kim Jong Un, the third member of the Kim dynasty to rule, carrying out its most powerful atomic test to date and launching rockets bringing the continental United States into range. Several new sets of UN … [Read more...] about Loneliness of the long distance runners in North Korea
Nordic foreign ministers have spoken out in condemnation of North Korea’s Sunday nuclear weapons test on home soil. Ossur Skarphedinsson, Iceland’s foreign Minister said that the Icelandic government is unsympathetic towards all use of nuclear weapons and has been working to reduce their use globally. “North Korea’s action has been severely criticised all over the world; and I think it’s a really bad sign that at the same time that others are trying to reduce their nuclear weapons stocks, this poverty stricken country is investing huge sums in developing theirs – money that would be better spent feeding the many North Koreans who live with hunger,” the Foreign Minister told Morgunbladid.This weekend’s nuclear tests are said to be some 20-times more powerful than North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006. Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Store also criticised the tests, while Jan Egeland, Director of the Norwegian Institute for … [Read more...] about Nordic outrage at North Korea nuclear test