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North Korea has “no intention” to continue nuclear talks with the US

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North Korea has “no intention” to continue nuclear talks with the US | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: It’s good to come to talks prepared with your very own note light and human lightstand – AP

North Korea says it has “no intention” to continue nuclear talks unless the US takes steps to “end hostilities”… this just a day after negotiations broke down in Sweden.

The discussions in Sweden followed months of stalemate following a February meeting between the North’s leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, following Pyongyang’s defiant test of a sea-launched ballistic missile last week. The North walked away from the Sweden talks saying it was disappointed at the lack of “new and creative” solutions offered by Washington, although the US insisted it was willing to meet again in two weeks.

But a spokesman at the North’s foreign ministry said Washington’s claims about another meeting was “ungrounded”.

“We have no intention to hold such sickening negotiations as what happened this time before the US takes a substantial step to make complete and irreversible withdrawal of the hostile policy toward the DPRK (North Korea).”

“The fate of the future DPRK-US dialogue depends on the US attitude, and the end of this year is its deadline.”

‘Good discussions’

In Stockholm, the nuclear-armed North’s leading negotiator, Kim Myong Gil, blamed the US for not giving up their “old attitude” which led to talks ending “without any outcome”. But Washington called the talks “good discussions”, saying the comments by North Korea did not reflect the content or the spirit their eight-and-a-half-hour discussion.

The US accepted host Sweden’s invitation to resume talks in two weeks’ time, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said. Ortagus added in a statement that the US “previewed a number of new initiatives” that would allow progress on the statement reached in Singapore at the first Trump-Kim summit last year.

The two leaders adopted a vaguely worded document on the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula” at their first summit in June last year, but little progress has since been made.

On Wednesday, North Korea claimed to have entered a new phase in its defence capability with Wednesday’s test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile – the most provocative since Pyongyang began dialogue with Washington in 2018.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 death toll exceeds 100,000 in the UK, government mulls quarantine for travellers

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Covid-19 death toll exceeds 100,000 in the UK, government mulls quarantine for travellers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bloomberg

With the Covid-19 death toll exceeding 100,000 in the United Kingdom, the British government is considering a mandatory hotel quarantine for visitors entering the country. A quarantine system is considered to be an effective way to limit virus transmission and stop new coronavirus variants from spreading into the country.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with senior officials in a meeting yesterday, saying that the government will consider tighter border measures. UK citizens and residents arriving from most of southern Africa and South America, as well as Portugal, will have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at their own expense.

Currently, people arriving in the UK from abroad must show the Covid-19 test results, while direct flights from South Africa, Brazil, and Portugal are banned to prevent the spreading of new variants in the Kingdom.

Hotel quarantine measures have been used in Australia, New Zealand, China, India, and Singapore, but the disease control practice has not been widely used in Europe.

In Thailand, those who enter the country from abroad must quarantine for 14 days at either a state quarantine facility or at an alternative quarantine hotel. Travellers must also be tested for Covid-19 before their flight to Thailand and tested at least another 2 times before they are released from quarantine.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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World

Mass Covid-19 immunisation in poor countries could take until 2024

Caitlin Ashworth

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Mass Covid-19 immunisation in poor countries could take until 2024 | The Thaiger
Stock photo by Gustavo Fring for Pexels

While developed countries, like those in the European Union, are likely to vaccinate most of the population within the next year, most poor countries won’t be able to reach mass Covid-19 immunisation until 2024, according to an analysis from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

84 of the world’s poorest countries will not receive enough vaccinations to reach herd immunity within the next year, according to the unit’s global forecasting director and author of the report, Agathe Demarais.

Agathe told the Guardian that disparity in vaccinations between the rich and poor countries will “define the global economy, the global political landscape, travel, pretty much everything.”

Poor countries may have poor medical infrastructure and few health workers that are trained to administer vaccines. Some countries may also have issues securing vaccine ingredients as well as production constraints and delays in delivery.

Countries with many people living in rural areas, like India and China, may also have problems reaching people in remote areas, according to Agathe.

SOURCE: Guardian

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World

Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants

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Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants | The Thaiger
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As fear over new variants of Covid-19 had prompted the travel restrictions to tighten worldwide, the United States biotech firm Moderna announced that its vaccine should protect against the variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Latest studies on the efficacy of Moderna vaccines confirmed that the vaccines are effective and protective against new variants. The company will continue more tests adding a second booster of its vaccine, bringing to 3 shots in a total.

“We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants.”

Last month, a private hospital in Bangkok advertised pre-orders for the Moderna vaccine, which still needs approval from Thailand’s FDA. Thailand’s Department of Health Service Support demanded that the hospital remove the advertisements.

In the ads, the hospital was charging 4,000 baht for a booking of the vaccine. In the post the hospital said the vaccine would arrive in Thailand in October 2021. They also announced that the vaccine would cost 6,000-10,000 baht.

Health officials say private hospitals will be allowed to administer vaccines that are approved by the FDA. So far, the Thai government has only approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Frontline health care workers and vulnerable groups in high risk areas will be first to receive the vaccine.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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