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Korean summit kicks off tomorrow

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The Korea Herald is reporting that a momentous meeting is about to take place, tomorrow in fact, between the leaders of two (technically) warring nations – North Korea and South Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet at the Military Demarcation Line in Panmunjeom at 9:30am Friday, Moon’s chief of staff Im Jong-seok said today (Thursday).

According to Im, Kim will cross the Military Demarcation Line between the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission offices, where he will be greeted by Moon.

The Korean War aka. “Fatherland Liberation War”, was a war between North Korea (with the support of China and the Soviet Union) and South Korea (with the principal support of the United States). The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border. The UN, with the United States as the principal force, came to the aid of South Korea. China came to the aid of North Korea, and the Soviet Union also gave some assistance to the North.

The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when an armistice was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty has ever been signed, and according to some sources the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict. Wikipedia

“The two leaders will meet at the MDL, and walk to the venue of the welcoming ceremony, escorted by a South Korean traditional honor guard,” Im said. The two leaders will then attend the welcoming ceremony from about 9:40am. The ceremony will include a review of South Korea’s honor guard.

According to Cheong Wa Dae, the decision to include a honor guard review was made in light of North Korea including the ceremony during late Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun’s visits to Pyongyang.

Korean summit kicks off tomorrow | News by Thaiger

Kim Dae-jung visited Pyongyang in 2000 for the first inter-Korean summit, while Roh visited the North Korean capital in 2007. Both former presidents met with Kim Jong-il.

Friday’s summit will then begin at 10:30am. at the Peace House.

Im said that the talks will adjourn for lunch, and resume in the afternoon, after Moon and Kim take part in a tree-planting ceremony.

“The two leaders will plant a pine tree, a symbol of peace and prosperity, on the MDL that has symbolised conflict and division for 65 years,” Im said.

The tree, which is said to have germinated in 1953, the year the armistice was signed, will be planted using soil gathered from Hallasan on Jeju Island and Baekdusan in the North.

The summit talks will resume after the ceremony, at the end of which Moon and Kim will sign a joint agreement.

Read the rest of the article about this historic summit HERE.

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in ‘red’ zones

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Photo via Facebook/ PR Thai government

Covid-19 infections are still high, but PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he wants restrictions to loosen up and businesses to reopen as soon as possible in provinces classified as “red” zones under tight control to combat Covid-19.

The prime minister says he has ordered governors of red zone provinces to look into easing disease control measures. Looking into each province’s Covid-19 situation and the restrictions’ impact on the local economy, governors are told to find a good balance that works well for both the economy and public health.

Spokesperson for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Taweesilp Visanuyothin, says restrictions at restaurants in red zone provinces can be lifted if the situation improves.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in 'red' zones | News by ThaigerPM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in 'red' zones | News by ThaigerSOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Insurgency

Suspected insurgent killed in gunfire exchange with rangers in Thailand’s deep south

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Photo via Facebook/ คนรักทหารพราน

A suspected insurgent was shot and killed in a gunfire exchange with Thai rangers in Narathawit, a province in Thailand’s deep south by the Malaysian border plagued with violence from the religious separatist insurgency. 2 other men were arrested after the clash with rangers in the Bacho district this morning. Another suspected insurgent is on the run.

Rangers got a tip that 4 insurgents were hiding out at a home in the district. The rangers surround the home at around 5am this morning. The men inside the home fired shots at rangers, shooting a 28 year old soldier in the wrist. The gunfire exchange lasted about 10 minutes. A suspect, identified as Sufian Yoso, managed to escape out the back of the home.

Rangers searched the area and found the body of Suraidin Katae, also known as Madong, who had a warrant out for his arrest. Suspected insurgents Ku-afnan and Ku-amran Kupama, who are brothers, were arrested. Rangers say the men had a 11mm pistol and an AK102 rifle.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

Thailand signs trade agreement with EU, same tax rates as before Brexit

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Under a new agreement with the European Union, Thailand can export to the trade bloc under the same tax rates and trade privileges from before Brexit. After the UK left the trade bloc on January 1, the tariff rate quota deal between Thailand and the EU was renegotiated. The agreement goes into effect next month.

The recent agreement only covers the same quotas for goods under the previous agreement, according to Thailand’s permanent representative to the World Trade Organisation, Pimchanok Pitfield.

“Products covered in the agreement include rice, poultry and fishery products, which Thailand will still be able to export to the EU with the same trade privileges extended before Brexit.”

She says Thailand’s Department of Foreign Trade has been the main negoitator for the deal and they had been working since 2019 to secure, at the least, the same quotas and rates Thailand had with the EU prior to Brexit.

There will be other, separate negotiations between Thailand, the EU and UK on export duty reductions and Thailand’s Commerce Ministry plans to push for higher quotas and lower duty rates for exports of goods related to agriculture and fishery, Pimchanok told the Bangkok Post.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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