The US pointman on North Korea said Wednesday there were no preconditions to resuming talks with Pyongyang but urged greater action on denuclearization.
A week after President Donald Trump said he received a new “beautiful letter” from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, US special representative Stephen Biegun said that Pyongyang’s promises to give up nuclear weapons lay at the heart of warming relations.
“We can’t make enough progress without meaningful and verifiable steps on denuclearization,” Biegun said at the Atlantic Council think tank.
“It’s absolutely at the core of this. It’s what produced this moment to begin with,” he said.
But Biegun said that nuclear progress was not a condition for resuming talks, amid a standstill in diplomacy since a February summit between Kim and Trump — the second between the two leaders after their historic first meeting in Singapore a year ago.
“That is not a condition, and let me say that it will be met with equal vigor on our part to address in parallel all the other commitments that our two leaders made in Singapore,” Biegun said.
Trump has offered a new relationship including support for North Korea’s creaky economy if Kim gives up nuclear weapons.
But Trump’s aides have insisted on no let-up in economic sanctions until North Korea takes concrete action — a row that contributed to the failure of the Hanoi summit to seal a deal.
Biegun voiced appreciation for North Korean officials’ efforts and downplayed a South Korean newspaper report that his counterpart, Kim Hyok Chol, was executed after the Hanoi summit.
“We don’t know, and I would tend to think a little bit of that is overblown, but part of it is driven by the fact that so much that happens in North Korea is opaque to us,” he said.
Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay
Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.
In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.
"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.
Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US
Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.
The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.
The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."
Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.
Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition
A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.
The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.
This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."