North Korea to hold nuclear talks with US on Saturday

A resident watches a television file footage of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom on June 30, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 01 October 2019

North Korea to hold nuclear talks with US on Saturday

  • North Korean officials ‘ready’ to enter the discussions
  • Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been gridlocked since a second summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump in February

SEOUL: North Korea on Tuesday said it will hold working-level nuclear talks with the US on Saturday, signalling the resumption of much-anticipated negotiations after the collapse of a summit in February.
The two sides agreed to have “preliminary contact” on October 4 and hold working-level negotiations the following day, the North’s vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
“It is my expectation that the working-level negotiations would accelerate the positive development of the DPRK-US relations,” she added without disclosing the talks’ venue.
North Korean officials were “ready” to enter the discussions, she said.
Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been gridlocked since a second summit between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in February ended without a deal.
The two agreed to restart working-level dialogue during an impromptu meeting at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas in June, but the North’s anger at a US refusal to cancel joint military deals with South Korea placed the process on hold.
Relations thawed last month after Trump fired his hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, who Pyongyang had repeatedly denounced as a warmonger.
North Korea’s chief negotiator also responded positively to Trump’s suggestion that the two sides try a “new method” of approaching their discussions.
Trump had criticized Bolton’s suggestion of the “Libyan model” for North Korea, a reference to a denuclearization deal with the African nation’s former dictator Muammar Qaddafi — who was killed after being deposed in 2011.
Pyongyang had bristled at that comment, which Trump said had “set us back very badly.”
Despite the gridlock, Pyongyang has continued to praise Trump, calling him “bold” and “wise.”
South Korea’s presidential Blue House welcomed the resumption of dialogue between the North and the US.
“We hope to see the realization of practical steps toward permanent peace regime and complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula through the upcoming talks,” said spokeswoman Ko Min-jung.


6 dead after man opens fire in Czech hospital waiting room

Updated 10 December 2019

6 dead after man opens fire in Czech hospital waiting room

  • The attacker opened fire at people’s heads from close range
  • Police published a photo of the suspect, having withdrawn an earlier photo of a different man

PRAGUE: Six people were killed in a shooting in a hospital in the eastern Czech Republic Tuesday, the prime minister said. Police said the suspect is at large and described him as armed and dangerous.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis told Czech public television the shooting took place around 7 a.m. in a waiting room. The attacker opened fire at people’s heads from close range, Babis said.

He said he was heading for the site, at the University hospital in the eastern city of Ostrava, 350 kilometers (220 miles) east of Prague.

Police said the man left in a silver-grey Renault Laguna car and called on the public not to try to stop him.

Police published a photo of the suspect, having withdrawn an earlier photo of a different man. They said that man was now considered to be a witness.

Video footage and pictures published by public radio showed police arresting a person at the site but that person did not appear to be the shooting suspect.

Officials say people have been evacuated from the clinic. Police are boosting security across the country.