Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for March, 2017

Newsline: North Koreans hiding in Malaysian embassy return to Pyongyang

Three North Koreans who spent weeks hiding in the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur have left Malaysia, police said Friday. The trio had been wanted for questioning in connection with the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, Kim Jong Nam. Kim Jong Nam was murdered February 13 when two women wiped his face with the highly toxic VX nerve agent at an airport in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia blamed North Korea for his death, but Pyongyang has strongly denied any involvement. On Friday, Royal Malaysia Police Inspector-General Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters police took statements from the three men at the North Korean embassy before their departure. Though Bakar would not name the three that were interviewed, it was previously revealed that Hyon Kwang Song, a second secretary at the embassy, and Kim Uk Il, an employee of North Korea’s national airline, were both hiding at the embassy.Ri Ji U, a 30-year-old North Korean whose employment was not disclosed by Malaysian police, was believed to be the third individual holed up there, a Malaysian government official told CNN. Bakar said the men’s freedom was not tied to an agreement which secured the release of nine Malaysians in Pyongyang and sent Kim Jong Nam’s body back to North Korea. When asked if they were cleared of wrongdoing, Bakar only stated the men were no longer needed for the investigation, which is ongoing. They had been wanted for questioning after being seen on security camera footage at the airport on the day of Kim’s death, he said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/31/asia/kim-jong-nam-malaysia-north-koreans/

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Newsline: Bulgaria reduces number of staff at North Korean embassy in Sofia

Bulgaria has implemented the latest UN resolution on North Korea and reduced the number of diplomatic staff at the DPRK embassy in Sofia, according to the country’s most recent report on sanctions implementation. Resolution 2321, which passed in November last year, calls upon member states to pay closer attention to the activities of North Korean diplomatic staff.

https://www.nknews.org/2017/03/bulgaria-reduces-number-of-staff-at-north-korean-embassy-in-sofia/

Newsline: US Embassy In Afghanistan Fires 6 Over Drug Infractions

Six people working at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, have been fired for using or possessing illegal drugs. A State Department official says the firings followed an investigation into allegations of misconduct. The official says those who were embassy employees have been fired and others who were contractors for the embassy have been removed from the contract. The official is declining to provide details about what led to the investigation. But the infractions are particularly troubling given the yearslong effort by the U.S. to address the narcotics trade in Afghanistan. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss personnel situations publicly and requested anonymity.

http://www.dailyjournal.net/2017/03/29/us-united-states-afghanistan-drugs/

Newsline: Nigeria summons Indian ambassador over attack on students

Nigeria on Thursday summoned Indian High Commissioner over the recent attack on Nigerian students in Greater Noida. Permanent Secretary of Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Olushola Enikanolaiye met Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria Nagabushana Reddy and asked the Indian government to ensure action against those who assaulted four Nigerian nationals on Monday in Greater Noida. According to a report in Nigerian media, Nigeria has asked the Indian Government to ensure the immediate arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the attack. Five people have been arrested so far in connection with attack on Nigerian nationals in Greater Noida following the death of 17-year-old student Manish Khari who died of a suspected drug overdose. Residents claim that Khari procured drugs from the Africans residing in Greater Noida. They have also demanded that the Nigerian students be charged with Khari’s murder.

http://www.india.com/news/india/nigeria-summons-indian-ambassador-over-attack-on-students-asks-india-to-ensure-action-against-culprits-1975955/

Newsline: Spain opens Brexit desk at London embassy

Spain has opened a Brexit desk in its London embassy. The special desk is designed to resolve doubts concerning the effects of the UK’s divorce from the EU on Spaniards living in Britain and Northern Ireland. A Foreign Ministry statement today said the desk will provide information on issues such as residence permits, health care, pensions, education and grants. Some 132,000 Spaniards are registered as living in the UK and Northern Ireland, while more than two million visited in 2015.

http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2017/03/29/spain-opens-brexit-desk-london-embassy-theresa-mays-article-50-letter-received-brussels/

Newsline: US ambassador to UN calls Congo government ‘corrupt’

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday said the U.N. is partnering with a “corrupt” government in Congo, and she supports a large cut in the world’s largest peacekeeping mission there. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Ambassador Nikki Haley said the U.N. mission in Congo “is aiding a government that is inflicting predatory behavior against its own people.” Her comments came a day after Congo said the bodies of an American and a Swedish investigator for the U.N. and a Congolese colleague were found Monday in a shallow grave in a region that has seen months of deadly violence between government troops and local militias. Congo says it will investigate.

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/ap_news/international/us-ambassador-to-un-calls-congo-government-corrupt/article_51d65389-3330-5b78-9b2f-46e8e6aa62d6.html

Newsline: US Ambassador leads boycott of UN talks to ban nuclear weapons

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced Monday that the United States and almost 40 other nations would not participate in the first-ever talks on an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Flanked by ambassadors from about 20 nations, including nuclear powers United Kingdom and France, Haley couched the decision not to attend the talks, which began Monday, in personal terms. As a mom and daughter, “there is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons,” the former South Carolina governor said. “But we have to be realistic.” “Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?” Haley asked. President Barack Obama’s administration also opposed the talks, which the General Assembly voted to approve in December, and nuclear powers Russia and China also are not taking part. United Kingdom Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said his country also would not attend the talks because “we do not believe that those negotiations will lead to effective progress on global nuclear disarmament.”

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/27/politics/un-nuclear-ban-boycott/