The United States looks set to break a promise not to hold military exercises with South Korea, putting talks aimed at getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons at risk, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. Earlier, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Washington’s pattern of “unilaterally reneging on its commitments” was leading Pyongyang to reconsider its own commitments to discontinue tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
North Korean state media have hailed US President Donald Trump’s impromptu visit to the country as “an amazing event”. On Sunday, Mr Trump became the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea, accompanied by leader Kim Jong-un. Negotiations over North Korea’s controversial nuclear program have stalled since the second summit between the two leaders ended without an agreement in February.
U.S. President Donald Trump sent North Korean leader Kim Jong Un an “excellent” letter, the North’s state-run news agency reported Sunday, quoting Kim as saying he would “seriously contemplate” the content. News of Trump’s letter came days after Kim’s summit with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, which experts say underscored China’s importance in the diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with the North.
Citing an unnamed “person knowledgeable about the matter”, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday “there was a nexus” between Kim Jong-nam and the CIA, adding that many details of his relationship with the agency remained unclear. Two women were charged with poisoning Kim Jong-nam by smearing his face with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.
The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday. The ship, known as the “Wise Honest,” was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S. Justice Department officials said.
North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Thursday, the South’s military said, less than a week after its leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test-firing of multiple rockets and a missile. They covered distances of 420 km (260 miles) and 270 km (168 miles) and reached an altitude of about 50 km (31 miles) before falling into the sea, they said. After Thursday’s launch, South Korea’s military said it had stepped up monitoring and security in case of another launch, and was working with the United States to get additional information on the missiles involved.
The second woman charged in the death of Kim Jong Nam, half brother to North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un, is due to be freed. This comes a month after a Malaysia court cleared her suspected accomplice in the 2017 nerve agent attack in the middle of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The North Korean government presented the United States with a bill for $2 million for the hospital care of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who was held as a prisoner by Pyongyang, and insisted the US sign a pledge to pay the bill before releasing him from their custody in 2017, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Warmbier was in a comatose state at the time of his release from North Korean custody and died a few days after returning to the United States.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was “pleased” with the outcome of his summit meeting Thursday in the Russian city of Vladivostok with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying he would discuss the results with China and the United States. “We are all pleased with the outcome of the talks — both I and my colleagues,” the Russian leader said. Asked if Kim would be willing to continue his contact with the US, Putin said the leader in Pyongyang would be guided by his “national interests,” but added that “we can’t resolve anything without talks” when it came to the crisis on the Korean peninsula.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet in Russia later this month, the Kremlin announced Thursday. The meeting between the Cold War allies comes at a delicate moment in the nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the United States, which have stalled since the last round of talks in Hanoi fell apart earlier this year. The announcement came just hours after North Korea’s foreign ministry called for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to be replaced in any further negotiations between the two countries.