Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for North Korea

Newsline: Canadian pastor freed from North Korean prison after efforts from Swedish embassy

Relatives of a Canadian pastor released this week after more than two years in a North Korean prison say he is “on his way home” and they are anxious to be reunited with him. The Korean Central News Agency reported that North Korea’s central court had decided to free Hyeong Soo Lim, who was serving a life sentence for anti-state activities. The pastor’s release was described as “sick bail,” but no other details were given. In a statement Thursday, a spokeswoman for his family said “there is a long way to go” in terms of Lim’s healing and stressed the need for privacy as he receives unspecified medical attention. Lisa Pak also said the family is grateful to the Canadian government and the Swedish embassy in North Korea for working behind the scenes to secure the pastor’s freedom. She did not say when he was scheduled to arrive in Canada.

Canadian pastor freed from North Korean prison after efforts from Swedish embassy: family

Newsline: A Rare Round of Diplomacy From North Korea’s Top Diplomat

A Southeast Asian diplomatic meeting quietly turned into the first real multiparty bargaining session in eight years to tackle North Korea’s nuclear program, as the country’s top diplomat held a rare round of talks with his counterparts from China, South Korea and Russia. The United States and Japan were the only members of the so-called six-party talks on the North’s nuclear ambitions, which ended in failure in 2009, whose diplomats did not meet this week with Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho of North Korea. But Rex W. Tillerson, the American secretary of state, kept the door open for talks, saying at a news conference on Monday that he had no specific preconditions for negotiating with Pyongyang. “Well, the best signal that North Korea could give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” Mr. Tillerson said. But when asked how long such a pause would have to last before talks could go forward, Mr. Tillerson demurred. “We’ll know it when we see it,” he said. “We are not going to give someone a specific number of days or weeks. This is really about the spirit of these talks.”

Newsline: US embassy in Manila urges countries to ‘downgrade’ North Korea ties

The U.S. embassy in the Philippines issued a statement urging countries in the Asia-Pacific to downgrade relations with North Korea. The statement comes ahead of a regional security meeting in Manila and addresses “all countries including ASEAN members” to “downgrade diplomatic engagements or exchanges,” Southeast Asia-based BenarNews reported. The ASEAN Regional Forum provides opportunities for top diplomats to hold talks on the sidelines. North Korea’s foreign minister and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are expected to be in attendance, but it is unlikely the two representatives will meet to address the nuclear issue. Susan Thornton, the acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, had said Tillerson does not plan to meet with North Korea’s foreign minister, and expressed support for penalizing Pyongyang.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/08/04/US-embassy-in-Manila-urges-countries-to-downgrade-North-Korea-ties/4441501845092/

Newsline: Peru orders downsizing of North Korean embassy in Lima

Action is in line with UNSC Resolution 2321, follows measures by other states. Peru has instructed the North Korean Embassy in Lima to reduce the number of its credited diplomats pursuant to UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2321, according to its implementation report dated June 28. The move is in line with Paragraph 14 of Resolution 2321, which calls upon UN member states to reduce the number of North Korean diplomats.

https://www.nknews.org/2017/07/peru-orders-downsizing-of-north-korean-embassy-in-lima/

Newsline: Russia’s embassy urges North Korea to release crew of detained yacht

Russia’s Embassy in North Korea has called on the authorities to release the crew of a detained Russian yacht Katalexa, a spokesman for the diplomatic mission in Pyongyang, Denis Samsonov, told TASS on Friday. The embassy has “expressed bewilderment” over a statement of the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s consular department that the yacht was detained while sailing in the Sea of Japan for violating the country’s border. According to Samsonov, the Russian yacht was detained in the area located no closer than 50 miles away from the shore. Now Katalexa is in the port of Rajin, in the country’s northeast. Russia’s Consul-General in Chongjin Yury Bochkarev is heading there to meet with the crew members and verify details of the incident. The head of Russia’s company in Rajin, RasonKonTrans, Ivan Tonkih is finding out if the Russians have drinking water and food. The Katalexa yacht was being towed from Taiwan to the Russky Island off Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East, the regional Yachting Sport Federation told TASS. According to this organization, three crew members were onboard the yacht. Last year, another Russian yacht en route from South Korea’s Busan to Vladivostok was apprehended approximately 80 miles from the North Korean coast. The vessel was released when Russian diplomats intervened. North Korean authorities said it was held “by mistake” after a crew of a North Korean fishing vessel noticed a South Korean logo on its hull.

http://tass.com/politics/951721

Newsline: North Korea summons UK’s envoy after claims of CIA assassination attempt

North Korea has reportedly summoned Britain’s ambassador after claiming “heinous terrorists” have entered the country armed with a “biochemical substance” in a bid to assassinate Kim Jong-un. Foreign diplomats, including the UK’s envoy Alastair Morgan, were said to have been summoned to a briefing in Pyongyang where they were told of the plot. A report published by the country’s state-controlled media claimed vice foreign minister Han Song-ryol told the diplomats that “man-killing demons” had entered the secretive nation from South Korea and the US. The CIA and South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) are behind the alleged assassination attempt, the report claimed. Demanding a “Korean-style war on terrorism”, Han apparently called for a “principled stand to find out all of the terrorist maniacs and mercilessly wipe them out”. Britain’s Government dismissed Pyongyang’s account of the briefing, The Daily Star reported, while confirming Mr Morgan did indeed attend the briefing.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/804435/Kim-Jong-un-assassination-plot-British-ambassador-summoned-North-Korea

Newsline: North Korean Diplomat Says Talks With US Possible

A senior North Korean diplomat who handles relations with the United States said Saturday that Pyongyang would have a dialogue with the U.S. administration if conditions were right, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported. Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s foreign ministry director general for U.S. affairs, made the comment to reporters in Beijing as she was traveling home from Norway, Yonhap said. “We’ll have dialogue if the conditions are there,” she told reporters when asked if the North was preparing to hold talks with the Trump administration, according to Yonhap. When asked if North Korea was also preparing to talk with the new government in South Korea, of liberal President Moon Jae-in, Choe said: “We’ll see.”

https://www.voanews.com/a/diplomat-north-korea-us-talks-possible/3850425.html