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Kim-Trump summit ‘fail’ over North Korea’s demands to lift sanctions

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by Choi He-suk, Korea Herald – Asia News Network

US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un’s summit ended abruptly with both sides failing to reach an agreement.

The second day of talks kicked off at 9 am yesterday at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi but the event was cut short when Kim and Trump departed at 1:25 pm.

The two were scheduled to have a working lunch then hold a joint ‘agreement’ signing ceremony around 2pm. Both were cancelled and replaced with a media conference with the US President.

“Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that,” said Trump.

“But we had to walk away from that particular suggestion.”

He said that although the two sides had an agreement ready to be signed, he was not prepared to sign, as conditions were unsatisfactory.

Before the summit began US news outlets citing unnamed sources from the Trump administration saying the two sides had reached an agreement.

The agreement would have declared the ‘official’ end of the Korean War and the US agreeing to a partial lifting of sanctions. In return the North would halt operations of their nuclear facilities.

Trump, however, stressed a number of times at the press conference that dialogue with the North has not ended, and that his relationship with Kim remains strong despite the talks falling apart.

Trump took off from Hanoi just before 4pm and reportedly spoke via phone to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The call lasted for about 25 minutes.

Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom says, “Moon (South Korean President) said that he hopes for good results in the follow-up negotiations as the leaders confirmed each other’s positions, and discussed detailed elements (of denuclearisation negotiations),” .

The Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson also said that Moon promised his full support in Washington’s dealings with Pyongyang.

At Trump’s press conference, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also stressed that significant progress has been made despite failing to reach an agreement, and again voiced optimism for future talks.

“We made big progress, and indeed we made even more progress when the two leaders met over the last 24, 36 hours,” Pompeo said during Trump’s press conference. He added that US and North Korean working-level officials will resume negotiations in the future.

Pompeo also revealed that Kim was unwilling to accept conditions put forward by the US. Highlighting that negotiators have been aware that the issue will take time, he said that officials are better equipped now to deal with the matter at hand.

SOURCE: The Korea Herald

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya police confiscate more than 750,000 smuggled face masks

Anukul

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Pattaya police confiscate more than 750,000 smuggled face masks | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: aec-tv-online2.com

Yesterday Region 1 police in Pattaya province seized 787,779 face masks and 10,000 litres of alcohol gel smuggled into the country from Vietnam. The smuggled goods were found in three houses in Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi and Don Muang.

The smugglers’ told police that they planned on selling the face masks for 14 baht per piece which would have potentially made them over 10,000,000 baht.

Pattaya police confiscate more than 750,000 smuggled face masks | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Philippines

Philippine President Duterte: “Shoot them dead”

Greeley Pulitzer

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Philippine President Duterte: “Shoot them dead” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Straits Times

The president of the Philippines is warning that those who violate his coronavirus lockdown could be shot. He also says abuse of medical workers is a “serious crime that will not be tolerated.”

In a nationally televised address, President Rodrigo Duterte said it’s crucial that everyone cooperates and follows home quarantine measures to try to slow the spread of Covid-19 and prevent the country’s fragile health system from being overwhelmed.

As of yesterday the Philippines had confirmed 96 coronavirus deaths and 2,311 confirmed cases since the breakout. New infections in the Philippines are now being reported in the hundreds every day.

“It is getting worse. So once again I’m telling you the seriousness of the problem and that you must listen. My orders to the police and military … if there is trouble and they fight back and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead. Is that understood? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I will bury you.”

His confronting comments come after reports of a disturbance and several arrests on Wednesday of residents in a poor area of Manila who were protesting about government food aid. They also follow outrage among the medical community about social stigma and cases of hospital workers suffering violence and discrimination. Duterte says this “must be stopped.”

Activists criticise Duterte for his fierce rhetoric and say he’s inciting violence and vigilantism, citing his war on drugs, in which police and gunmen have killed thousands accused of using or selling drugs. Police say their actions in the anti-drug campaign have been lawful. Duterte’s office typically calls his remarks “hyperbole to underline his point.”

The Philippines’ national police chief yesterday said police understood that Duterte is demonstrating his seriousness about public order, and that no one will be shot.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Malaysia’s coronavirus cases will peak in mid-April: WHO

Anukul

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Malaysia’s coronavirus cases will peak in mid-April: WHO | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: rt.com

Today, The World Health Organisation has announced that the number of coronavirus cases in Malaysia is expected to peak in mid-April as there appears there are signs of a flattening of the infection curve. Malaysia is now ranked the highest number of known infections in Southeast Asia with a total of 2,908 confirmed cases with 102 patients that are in intensive care across Malaysia and a total of 45 deaths (followed by Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, in that order).

Malaysia’s health ministry announced yesterday that the rate of new infections appeared to be slowing down due to the restrictions of movements and because Malaysia has ramped up its diagnostic testing capacity in recent days, testing over 7,000 patients a day from last week’s 3,500.

Meanwhile, the WHO’s head of mission and representative to Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, Ying-Ru Lo, says that based on available data, the WHO Country Office has projected that Malaysia will see a peak in hospitalised cases in mid-April. The number of critically ill patients is estimated to reach a peak within the next week.”

“There are initial signs of flattening of the curve, but this could bounce back if control measures are lifted and if people don’t continue to take protective measures.”

Ying-ru also reported that WHO projections could change.

SOURCE: Reuters

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