Only at MHI-NK News:
“Heavy casualties” in tour bus crash in N. Korea, says Chinese foreign ministry, By Oliver Hotham
Beijing reports 32 Chinese nationals, four North Koreans killed in accident.
Update at 1500 KST: The article and headline has been amended to reflect comments by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). It was further updated at 1715 KST to include further comments by the ministry. A tour bus crash in North Korea last night lead to “heavy casualties,” a report carried by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
North Korea’s test freeze pledge: reading between the lines, By Scott LaFoy
Many points of contention remain as Pyongyang prepares for two historic summits.
Kim Jong Un made a series of statements at the 3rd Plenary Meeting of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea that indicate the nuclear and ICBM programs may be slowing down. These statements did not include a robust commitment to denuclearization, but are potentially positive steps towards an arms control treaty.
Kim Jong Un, chairman of the WPK, guided the plenary meeting. Attending the meeting were Presidium members, members and alternate members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the WPK and members and alternate members of the C.C., WPK and members of the Central Auditing Commission of the WPK. Present as observers were members of the WPK Central Committee and party and administrative officials of ministries, national institutions, provinces, cities and counties, major industrial establishments and institutions and co-operative farms and members of the armed forces organs. The plenary meeting dealt with the following agenda items: 1. On tasks of our party to further accelerate socialist construction as required by a fresh high stage of the developing revolution 2. On bringing about a revolutionary turn in science and education 3. Organizational matter.
Two Koreas agree on schedule, broadcasting, and joint banquet for Friday’s summit, By Dagyum Ji
Pyongyang and Seoul come to “final agreement” on logistics for Friday’s Kim-Moon meeting.
Pyongyang and Seoul at working-level talks on Monday agreed on the main schedule for Friday’s inter-Korean summit, as well as on the live-broadcasting of the event, the South Korean Presidential office announced. DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and ROK President Moon Jae-in will also hold a banquet before one-on-one talks begin. Just eight days to go now until the leaders of the two Koreas meet at their summit. And we’ll be able to watch history unfold as they shake hands. Seoul and Pyongyang have agreed that parts of the summit can be broadcast live around the world. Our Cha Sang-mi has more. South Korean officials who travelled to the North Korean side of the border village of Panmunjom for the second round of working-level talks between the two Koreas to prepare for the 2018 inter-Korean summit returned to Seoul on Wednesday after an over five-hour meeting earlier on the same day.
The working-level talks were on security, protocol and media coverage of the historic summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next week. And, news has it… the two Koreas have agreed to allow live television broadcasts for parts of the April 27th summit meeting between the two leaders. The two sides at the working-level talks today, agreed to broadcast live to the entire world the historic inter-Korean summit, starting with the two leaders’ first hand shake to all key moments of the summit’s agenda. The Presidential Blue House said the live coverage will also include other events of the unprecedented meeting, but did not give specific details.
The inter-Korean summit next Friday will only be the third meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas since the end of the 1950 to 1953 Korean War and analysts view it as a crucial step in the global diplomatic push to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff. It’s also highly symbolic in that it will be the first summit ever to take place on South Korean soil… and to be followed by the first-ever summit between North Korea and the United States… expected for the end of May or early June. Seoul’s top office said working-level officials from the two Koreas will hold additional meetings before the April 27th summit to fine tune the details.
South Korean military suspends loudspeaker broadcasts at inter-Korean border, By Dagyum Ji
Decision intended to ease tensions ahead of Friday’s summit, ROK army says .
The South Korean military has suspended broadcasts of propaganda from loudspeakers on the inter-Korean border, the country’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced on Monday. The defense ministry said the decision was made to “ease military tensions between the South and the North and to create the atmosphere for the peaceful talks on the occasion
Planned visit to Europe by senior North Korean diplomat canceled: sources, By Dagyum Ji
Ri Su Yong’s trip would have seen him visit Berlin, Bern, Brussels, and Stockholm.
A scheduled trip by high-ranking North Korean diplomat Ri Su Yong to Europe was canceled at the last minute, three sources familiar with the issue confirmed to NK News.A diplomatic source confirmed to NK News earlier last week that Ri was due to kick off a trip to Europe on Saturday, and the reason for
the sudden cancelation remains unclear.
Ri, who serves as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) and politburo member of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), was reportedly scheduled to visit European countries for 10 days before returning to Pyongyang on May 1.Ri was due to visit Berlin, Bern, Brussels, and Stockholm during his trip.
The DPRK diplomat was set to meet with former German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, one source said, as well as Catherine Ashton, who served as the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy from 2009 to 2014.One source told NK News that Wolfgang Nowak, former advisor to German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, had been involved in Ri’s visit to the European countries.
Nowak visited Pyongyang and met with Ri in November last year, following a letter sent by the DPRK diplomat to former East German Prime Minister Hans Modrow.Modrow told Yonhap News that Ri had in the letter asked him to ensure Germany could “play a positive role in easing tensions between South and North Korea and solving pending issues.”
Conclusion on North Korea “a long way” off: Trump, By Leo Byrne
U.S. President says Washington hasn’t conceded anything to Pyongyang.
U.S. President Donald Trump took to social media on Sunday to say that Washington was still “a long way” from solving the threat posed by North Korea’s weapons programs. Apparently reacting to comments made by a journalist working for NBC news, Trump also criticised his detractors on Twitter. “We are a long way from conclusion on North Korea despite regime’s.”
Kim Jong Un says no further nuclear, ICBM tests needed, By Leo Byrne
At ruling party meeting, DPRK leader says nuke program has completed its mission.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday said there was no longer any need for nuclear or missile tests, during a plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang. During a speech at the event, Kim praised the scientists who worked on the North’s nuclear program.
U.S. calls N. Korea a force for “instability” due to poor human rights, By Leo Byrne
Washington says DPRK, China, Russia, and Iran are “morally reprehensible”
The U.S. State Department on Friday called North Korea along with China, Russia, and Iran “morally reprehensible” and labeled them as “forces for instability” due to their poor human rights records. As a part of its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017, the State Department singled out the four countries as they performed badly morally .
Mandate for a meeting? The third inter-Korean summit and ROK public opinion, By Peter Ward
Seoul continues to enjoy majority support for its policy of rapprochement – though that may not last
As he prepares for a much-anticipated meeting with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un this week, analysis of the polling data reveals Moon Jae-in remains popular – more so than any South Korean President at this point in their presidency. Even usually more conservatively-inclined demographics like the old remain largely supportive, and his party also remains of policy of rapprochement.
The much anticipated summit is now just over a week away, and the South Korean government is welcoming the renewed dialogue between the two Koreas. But what about the South Korean public? According to a survey by the Korea Society Opinion Institute, conducted between March 16th and 17th,… a majority of South Koreans favored holding the inter-Korean summit. And when asked whether the talks would be productive,… more than half of them said ‘yes’. “I think it’s great that the two Koreas are holding the summit. I’m hoping that South and North Korea will unite someday,… and the renewed exchange will have a positive impact.” “Watching the two countries interact after a long standstill makes me feel like things are beginning to clear up.” “I’m very much in favor of the inter-Korean summit. Regardless of whether or not there is a favorable outcome,… embracing them will someday lead to unification. I support the government for making such an effort to resume the talks.” “South Koreans generally appear to have positive opinions towards holding the inter-Korean summit. But on whether the talks will have the desired outcome of bringing North Korea to denuclearize,… they’re not so sure.” In a survey of over one-thousand respondents by Gallup Korea from March 13th to March 15th,… more than half the respondents said they think North Korea will not give up its nuclear weapons. Only 22 percent said it will, eventually. “I believe there’s a very low chance of North Korea denuclearizing. The Kim Jong-un regime knows very well that it cannot exist without nuclear weapons. I think we should take this opportunity to identify North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.” “It’s hard to know for sure, but I’m skeptical about whether North Korea will change its attitude,… which is why I’m not so supportive of the inter-Korean summit.” And aside from denuclearization,… people also wished for the talks to lead to further discussions on other important issues, including restarting the Kaesong Industrial Complex and Geumgangsan Mountain tours. But a more urgent issue for the public– is conducting reunions for separated families,… as it’s a matter where time is of the essence.
How Kim Jong Un’s testing moratorium may impact upcoming summits, By Stephan Haggard
North Korea’s pledge is a big deal, but what will Trump offer in return?
What is most striking about Kim Jong Un’s announcement of a nuclear and missile test moratorium is the mile-wide gap between the headlines and what the statement actually promises. Anna Fifield at the Washington Post takes only a few short paragraphs to get to the point: that the moratorium primarily reflects North Korea’s satisfaction that a nuclear and missile test.North Korea has previously announced nuclear and missile moratoriums only to rescind them and Kim may have multiple motives for publicly announcing the temporary suspension. He could be seeking sanctions relief from President Moon Jae-in and Trump or ensuring that it is not seen later as a concession wrested by Trump. He could also be simply laying the groundwork to blame others for failed summits. Also Kim’s Korean Central News Agency reported that “No nuclear test or intermediate-range or ICBM test fire are necessary now, given that the work for mounting nuclear warheads are finished.” Essentially declaring that it won’t test because it no longer needs to. That’s far different from abandoning testing before ridding itself of nuclear weapons all together.