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North Korea seeks ‘complete denuclearisation’, says Moon, as U.S. vows continued pressure

SEOUL/GENEVA – North Korea has expressed its commitment to “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula and is not seeking conditions, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday, as the United States vowed to maintain “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang. Moon said big-picture agreements about denuclearisation, establishing a peace regime and normalisation of relations between the…

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Trump says CIA chief met Kim in North Korea, as peace deal mooted

Washington: US President Donald Trump confirmed Wednesday that his CIA chief has held secret talks with North Korea’s leader in Pyongyang, as the South said it was exploring paths to a peace deal with the nuclear-armed North. Seoul’s push for discussions on formally declaring an end to inter-Korean hostilities was the latest in a series…

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South Korean envoy advises Kim Jong Un to ‘stop smoking’

PYEONGYANG: A South Korean envoy told North Korean President Kim Jong Un to end his smoking habit, reported Sky News. Chung Eui-yong, the director of the South Korean National Security Council, advised Kim Jong Un to stop smoking during a conversation. “How about stopping smoking?” he asked him. “It’s bad for your health.” Ri Sol-ju, Kim…

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North Korean leaders used Brazilian passports to apply for Western visas – sources

LONDON: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his late father Kim Jong Il used fraudulently obtained Brazilian passports to apply for visas to visit Western countries in the 1990s, five senior Western European security sources told Reuters. While North Korea’s ruling family is known to have used travel documents obtained under false pretences, there…

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Trump announces ‘heaviest ever’ sanctions on North Korea

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump rolled out sanctions against North Korea-linked shipping assets Friday, hailing the package as the “heaviest sanctions ever” levied on the Pyongyang regime. Trump used a speech to conservatives just outside Washington to step up his campaign of “maximum pressure” designed to force North Korea to roll back its weapons programs….

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Kim Jong-un says it is important to continue reconciliatory mood between Koreas

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged efforts to continue the reconciliatory mood with South Korea as he welcomed back a high-ranking North Korean delegation from their trip to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea, the North’s state-run news agency said Tuesday, Yonhap reported. “It is important to continue making good results by further…

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‘Too soon’ to tell if Korean Olympic thaw will last: Mattis

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis cast doubt Sunday on whether North Korea’s charm offensive at the Winter Olympics would lead to a lasting rapprochement between Pyongyang and Seoul. “Clearly it is too early to say… if that is going to have any traction once the Olympics are over,” Mattis said. “In the midst of all…

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North Korea’s Kim invites South Korean president for summit

SEOUL/PYEONGCHANG: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in for talks in Pyongyang, South Korean officials said on Saturday, setting the stage for the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than 10 years. Any meeting would represent a diplomatic coup for Moon, who swept to power last year on a…

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Korean unity, historic handshake as Winter Olympics 2018 get underway

PYEONGCHANG: The two Koreas marched together and South Korea’s president shared a historic handshake with Kim Jong Un’s sister as the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opened in a spirit of intense rapprochement on Friday. At a glittering but sub-zero ceremony, South and North Korea brought the crowd to its feet as they entered behind the blue-and-white…

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Fireworks as opening ceremony starts for 2018 Winter Olympics

PYEONGCHANG: The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony got under way in freezing temperatures and a spirit of rapprochement on Friday after the arrival of the highest level North Korean delegation ever seen in the South. Fireworks lit up the sky over the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, where North Korea’s all-female cheering squad were among the crowd,…

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North Korea’s cheer squad, sports officials arrive in South Korea

SEOUL: A group of 280 North Koreans arrived in South Korea on Wednesday, one of the largest peacetime crossings of the inter-Korean border, to spur on athletes from the two Koreas at the Winter Olympics starting Friday, reported Reuters. The delegation, made up mostly of a 229-member cheer squad, reached a border checkpoint by bus…

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South Korean intelligence says N. Korean hackers possibly behind Coincheck heist – sources

SEOUL: South Korea’s intelligence agency told lawmakers North Korean hackers could have been behind the $530 million theft of virtual coins from a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last month, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday. The people, who had knowledge of parliament’s intelligence committee proceedings, told Reuters the National Intelligence Service did not…

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Canceled North Korean visit to prep for Olympics ‘not permanent’: South Korea ministry

SEOUL: South Korea’s Unification Ministry said on Saturday that the sudden cancellation of a North Korean delegation’s planned visit to the South to prepare for the North’s art troupe during the Winter Olympics was “not a permanent cancellation”.  “It’s not a permanent cancellation on sending its advance team for performance, it is a tentative cancel,”…

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Trump says he has a ‘very good relationship’ with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un

NEWS DESK: Donald Trump has suggested he has a “very good relationship” with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader he previously threatened to “totally destroy” over the country’s increasingly serious nuclear threats, reported The Independent. “I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” Mr Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an…

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Trump, on possibility of North Korea talks, says: ‘Who knows where it leads?’

WASHINGTON/SEOUL: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday after the first intra-Korean talks in over two years that the United States was willing to speak to North Korea “under the right circumstances,” although it was far from clear whether this would pay dividends, reported Reuters. South Korea said Trump had also said in a phone…

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Koreas start first official talks in two years

NEWS DESK: North and South Korea began their first official talks in more than two years on Tuesday, focussing on the forthcoming Winter Olympics after months of tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme, reported AFP. The talks in Panmunjom, the truce village in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula, came after the North’s leader…

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Trump willing to speak directly with Kim Jong-Un

US President Donald Trump said Saturday he would be willing to speak directly with Kim Jong-Un, voicing hope that rare talks between North and South Korea could help deescalate the crisis over Pyongyang’s nuclear drive. Trump’s remarks were a further pivot from his often-bellicose rhetoric on North Korea and Kim, with whom he has engaged…

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North and South Korea agree to first talks in two years

NEWS DESK: North and South Korea agreed on Friday to hold their first talks in more than two years, hours after Seoul and Washington decided to defer joint military exercises which always infuriate Pyongyang until after the Winter Olympics, reported AFP. The meeting, the first since December 2015, will take place in Panmunjom, the truce…

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Americans should worry about Kim’s mental fitness, not Trump’s: White House

WASHINGTON: The White House on Wednesday defended Donald Trump’s tweet about the size of his nuclear button, saying Americans should be concerned about the North Korean leader’s mental fitness, not their president‘s. On Tuesday, Trump responded to a New Year’s Day speech in which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned he had a nuclear…

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Trump to North Korean leader: my nuclear button ‘is bigger & more powerful’

US President Donald Trump warned Kim Jong-Un Tuesday he has a “much bigger” nuclear button than the North Korean leader, as Washington dismissed the prospect of high-level talks between Pyongyang and Seoul. Trump launched the highly personal missive on Twitter hours after his ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley described proposed dialogue between the two…

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North Korea’s Kim says ‘open to dialogue’ with South Korea, will only use nukes if threatened

FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to people attending a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country’s founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEOUL: Kim Jong Un on Monday warned the United States that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk ready for…

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