China urges US to take steps to ensure North Korea talks resume

China urged the United States on Thursday to adopt a more conducive approach towards North Korea, in order to restart stalled nuclear talks after Pyongyang indicated it wanted to resume negotiations. 

North Korea said on Monday it was willing to restart nuclear talks with the US in late September but warned that dealings between the sides could end unless Washington takes a different approach.

A few hours later, it fired a new round of short-range projectiles.

Speaking in Beijing, the Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said China welcomed North Korea's recent "positive signals" on restarting stalled talks.

"We would be glad to see North Korea and the United States resuming talks on schedule at the end of the month," Wang told a joint news conference with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

Arguing that both sides' core concerns must be addressed in order for talks to achieve real progress, Wang added: "If there are only preconditions made for the other side ... or even trying to use extreme pressure to get the other side to make unilateral concessions, then this didn't work in the past and it won't work now or in the future."

North Korea has so far this year taken a series of positive steps, and has asked the US to meet them halfway, he said.

China urged the United States on Thursday to adopt a more conducive approach towards North Korea, in order to restart stalled nuclear talks after Pyongyang indicated it wanted to resume negotiations. 

North Korea said on Monday it was willing to restart nuclear talks with the US in late September but warned that dealings between the sides could end unless Washington takes a different approach.

A few hours later, it fired a new round of short-range projectiles.

Speaking in Beijing, the Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said China welcomed North Korea's recent "positive signals" on restarting stalled talks.

"We would be glad to see North Korea and the United States resuming talks on schedule at the end of the month," Wang told a joint news conference with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

Arguing that both sides' core concerns must be addressed in order for talks to achieve real progress, Wang added: "If there are only preconditions made for the other side ... or even trying to use extreme pressure to get the other side to make unilateral concessions, then this didn't work in the past and it won't work now or in the future."

North Korea has so far this year taken a series of positive steps, and has asked the US to meet them halfway, he said.

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Raúl and Díaz-Canel congratulate the Democratic Republic of Korea on its 71st anniversary

The Communist Party of Cuba’s first secretary, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, sent a message of congratulations to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, September 9, on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In his message, Raul reaffirmed the value Cuba gives ties with Pyongyang, based on the special relations shared by their leaders, according to a report on Cubavisión.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez also saluted the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on its anniversary, on behalf of the people and government of our country.

Cuba and the DPRK established diplomatic relations August 29, 1960, and have maintained fraternal ties since that time, based on mutual respect and admiration, and the friendship shared by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz and the great leader Kim Il Sung.

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DPRK Embassy in Havana Hosts Reception

The DPRK embassy in Havana hosted a reception on August 29 on the occasion of the 59th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Cuba.

Invited to the reception were the general secretary of the Centre of the Cuban Workers who is a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and personages of the Communist Party of Cuba, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces.

Present there were the ambassador and staff members of the DPRK embassy.

The DPRK ambassador made a speech at the reception.

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Xi Jinping Urged Trump To "Show Flexibility" Over North Korea Sanctions

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping urged US President Donald Trump to "show flexibility" towards North Korea, including the "timely" easing of sanctions, at the G20 summit last week, China's foreign minister said Tuesday.

Xi "pushed for the US to show flexibility and meet the DPRK (North Korea) halfway, including the timely easing of sanctions against the DPRK and finding a solution to each other's concerns through dialogue," Wang Yi told reporters.

 

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‘Won’t hesitate to pull muscle-flexing trigger’ in defense: North Korea blasts US sanctions policy

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement decrying Washington’s continued sanctions policies against them as “most extreme hostile acts,” arguing the measures threaten diplomacy, and warning they would defend themselves.

The Ministry’s Wednesday statement sharply criticized the White House’s decision last Friday to extend 6 executive orders sanctioning the country over their nuclear and missile programs for another year.

The wild dream of the US to bring us to our knees by means of sanctions and pressure has not changed at all but grows even more undisguised.

The statement also took issue with “reckless remarks” made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last Sunday regarding the prospects for future nuclear talks. Pompeo was unusually cordial in his comments, reiterating readiness to sit down to talks without preconditions.

Also on rt.com US & North Korea in talks to arrange 3rd Trump-Kim summit, Moon says...

In North Korea’s traditional rhetoric, the statement also warned the country’s enemies in Washington that they would neither “hesitate to pull a muscle-flexing trigger in order to defend [itself]” if its sovereignty is threatened, nor will it be forced into surrendering due to sanctions.

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North Korea "Executed" Envoy, 4 Others After Failed Trump Summit: Report

Seoul: North Korea executed its special envoy to the United States following the collapse of the second summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, a South Korean newspaper reported Friday.

The Chosun Ilbo said Kim Hyok Chol, who laid the groundwork for the Hanoi meeting and accompanied Kim on his private train, was executed by firing squad for "betraying the supreme leader" after he was "won over to the US" during pre-summit negotiations.

"Kim Hyok Chol was executed in March at Mirim Airport along with four senior foreign ministry officials following an investigation," the newspaper quoted an unidentified source as saying.

The other officials were not named.

Kim Hyok Chol was the North's counterpart of US special representative Stephen Biegun in the run-up to the Hanoi summit in February.

South Korea's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, declined to comment on the report.

Some previous South Korean reports of North Korean purges and executions have later proved inaccurate.

Trump 'not bothered' by NKorean missile launches

President Donald Trump said on Monday that he is not "bothered at all" by recent North Korean missile tests. He says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants economic development and knows he has to give up nuclear arms.

The paper also said Kim Jong Un's interpreter Shin Hye Yong was sent to a prison camp for a mistake at the summit.

She failed to translate Kim's new proposal when Trump declared "no deal" and walked away from the table, Chosun reported, citing another unnamed diplomatic source.

Kim Jong Un and Trump left the Vietnamese capital without a deal after they failed to reach agreement on rolling back Pyongyang's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

The North has since sought to raise the pressure and carried out two short-range missile tests in May.

Senior party official Kim Yong Chol, the North's counterpart to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in nuclear talks, was also sent to a labour camp, the paper said.

In April, South Korea's parliamentary intelligence committee said Kim Yong Chol had been censured over his handling of the Hanoi summit, despite the fact he had recently been named a member of the State Affairs Commission, a supreme governing body chaired by Kim Jong Un.

The Chosun Ilbo itself incorrectly reported in 2013 that Hyon Song Wol, head of the North's Samjiyon Orchestra, was executed by firing squad for distributing and watching pornographic content.

And the Unification Ministry also mistakenly announced in February 2016 that Ri Yong Gil, chief of the general staff of the North Korean People's Army, had been executed.

News of the reported purge came as North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, mouthpiece of the ruling party, Thursday warned that officials who committed anti-party or anti-revolutionary acts would face the "stern judgement of the revolution".

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North Korean delegation holds first day of talks in “working visit” to Havana

A “party and government delegation” led by Ri Su Yong, one of North Korea’s most senior diplomats, held their first day of talks in Havana on Wednesday, Cuban state media reported.

In addition to Ri, who serves as a vice-chairman of the Workers Party of Korea’s Central Committee (WPK CC) and head of its International Department, the delegation also included his subordinate in the department Ryu Myong Son and vice-foreign minister Pak Myong Guk, the Cuban News Agency (ACN) reported.

Ri was greeted at the José Martí International Airport on Tuesday by Cuban vice-foreign minister Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo, who described the trip in a Tweet as a “working visit framed in fraternal relations among peoples, parties, and governments.”

An expanded meeting attended by Ri and the other officials was then held Wednesday morning with Cuban Vice President Roberto Morales Ojeda, according to ACN.

The report said the two sides “ratified the willingness to continue deepening the historic relations between the two peoples, parties and governments,” and “exchanged about other topics on the international agenda.”

Expanded talks on May 22 between Ri Su Yong and Cuban Vice President Ojeda | Photo: Cuban News Agency

Vice-foreign minister Camejo also released details of direct talks later on May 22 with her counterpart for the DPRK Pak Myong Guk, saying the two “had a fraternal exchange, noted the high level of bilateral relations, and reviewed the current state of exchange.”

Ryu Myong Son and other officials were also present at that meeting, a photo included in Camejo’s tweet showed, though Ri Su Yong did not appear to have joined.

An initial report released by Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Ri would also “carry out other activities” during his visit, indicating more talks may have been held with his counterpart Wednesday as well.

The head of the Central Committee International Relations Department of the Communist Party of Cuba is Juan Carlos Marsán Aguilera, who attended the initial expanded meeting.

Inter-foreign ministry talks at the vice-foreign minister level were held between Pak Myong Guk and Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo on May 22 | Photo: Twitter of Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo

It is also possible that Ri will carry out economic-related activities during his stay in Cuba as well, with senior North Korean official also leading similar visits in Vietnam during the Hanoi summit in late February.

While the U.S. and North Korean leaders were meeting, Ri led a group to a startup car factory, a plastic factory, and a telecom giant, among others.

North Korean state media reported that Ri’s delegation departed from Pyongyang on Monday, and while he was not spotted in Beijing’s airport, it is likely given their arrival time Tuesday that the group did not hold lengthy talks in any third nation on their way.

Neither Cuban or North Korean state media have indicated how long the delegation is expected to stay in Havana.

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Top DPRK leader guides strike drill of defense units, says KCNA

PYONGYANG, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), guided the strike drill of defense units in the East Sea of Korea on Saturday, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.

The report said the drill was aimed "to estimate and inspect the operating ability and the accuracy of striking duty performance of large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons by defense units based in the frontline area and on the eastern front."

"After setting the sequences and methods of strike, the Supreme Leader gave an order of firing," the report said.

Kim praised the People's Army for its excellent operation of modern large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons, and spoke highly of the successful striking drill though it was organized without an advance notice, it said.

Kim also stressed the need for the army to keep high alert posture and more dynamically wage the drive to increase the combat ability so as to defend the political sovereignty and economic self-sustenance of the country.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Saturday that the DPRK fired unidentified short-range projectiles off its east coast Saturday morning.

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