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North Korea refuses to revive nuclear talks — and accuses US of angling to ‘trigger a cold war’

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North Korea said Thursday it has “no interest” in dialogue unless Washington stops “escalating hostile military moves”, as a senior US envoy visited Seoul with an eye on reviving nuclear talks with Pyongyang.

Talks between Pyongyang and Washington have stalled since a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi in February collapsed without an agreement.

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The pair met again in June in the Demilitarised Zone and agreed to restart working-level dialogue, but those talks have yet to begin.

Meanwhile, North Korea has carried out several short-range missile tests in recent weeks in protest against annual US-South Korea joint military drills that it sees as a rehearsal for invasion.

Stephen Biegun, the US special envoy for North Korea who leads the working-level talks, arrived in Seoul late Tuesday for a three-day trip, and said Washington was “prepared to engage” as soon as it hears from Pyongyang.

But a spokesman for the North’s foreign ministry dashed hopes for renewed dialogue on Thursday, attacking a recent mid-range cruise missile test by the US and plans to deploy F-35 fighter jets in the region as “dangerous” moves that can “trigger a new cold war”.

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“This compels us to weigh a realistic way of turning our attention more to strengthening the physical deterrence,” he said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

“We remain unchanged in our position to resolve all issues in a peaceful manner through dialogue and negotiation,” he added.

“However, dialogue accompanied by military threats is of no interest to us.”

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Washington stations nearly 30,000 troops in the South to defend it from its neighbour.

Trump tweeted earlier this month that Kim had sent him a letter — hand-delivered to him — in which he expressed hope that talks would resume “as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over”.


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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.

The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.

A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.

But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.

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‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys

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In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.

"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.

The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.

"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

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Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors

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A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.

The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.

"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.

The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.

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