Buoyed by the role the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics played in easing tensions last year, South Korean and North Korean officials are due to meet on Friday with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Switzerland to discuss what would be the first ever bid by two countries. To make Olympic history, experts say the long-shot bid would need to overcome international sanctions against North Korea, decades of mistrust between Seoul and Pyongyang, and wide political and economic differences between two countries still officially at war. The Switzerland meeting comes ahead of a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Vietnam, which will be key to the future of reclusive North Korea’s relations with the world. Since the Olympic bid was announced after a summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang in September, South Korean officials have been pushing forward with plans despite the obstacles. On Monday … [Read more...] about Diplomatic gold? Joint North Korea-South Korea Olympic bid faces long odds
North korea sanctions history
Viet Nam News BEIJING — Kim Jong Un declared North Korea’s unstinting "friendship, unity and cooperation" with Beijing during his third visit to China this year, in a show of loyalty to his main ally following a landmark summit with US President Donald Trump. The two-day visit which ends Wednesday is designed to reassure Beijing that Pyongyang will not neglect its interests as Trump and the young autocrat move into uncharted diplomatic terrain. The performance is part of a delicate balancing act for Kim, who analysts say is seeking to play US and Chinese interests off each other while maintaining good relations with Beijing, his economic patron and diplomatic protector. China and the US both hope to see the Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons, but Beijing is concerned Washington and Pyongyang might move closer at its expense, a possibility that China sees as threatening to its economic and security interests in the region. While China was not present at the June … [Read more...] about North Korea’s Kim hails ’unity’ with China in new visit
Donald Trump dangled the carrot of foreign investment in front of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their nuclear summit, but analysts say few will want to put money into one of the highest-risk business environments in the world. The U.S. president showed Kim a movie of bright lights, high-speed trains and soaring tower blocks - pitching a future that could be possible if Pyongyang gives up its weapons. Optimists say that with mineral wealth, cheap labour, and a helpful geographical location, the North has huge potential. But the history of overseas firms who have tried to set up operations in the isolated, impoverished country is a long and sorry one. Rules that can change on a whim, bills that are never paid, and the threat of expropriation hang over foreigners who step into the wildest of wild east investment destinations. For now, dozens of restrictions apply under the various sanctions regimes imposed on the North over its nuclear ambitions. Joint ventures are banned by the U.N. … [Read more...] about Invest in North Korea: money pit or golden opportunity?
US President Donald Trump (R) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/Saul Loeb) Despite the lack of detail, or binding terms in the joint statement agreed with Kim - which has alarmed a majority of observers of the nuclear standoff - Trump struck a resolutely bullish tone. "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea," he tweeted in one of a series of early morning pronouncements. Trump added that everybody "can now feel much safer than the day I took office" and people could "sleep well tonight!" Critics said the unprecedented encounter between Kim and Trump was more style than substance, producing a document short on specifics about the key issue of Pyongyang's atomic weapons. But the US president trumpeted the outcome as a "deal" with North Korea and vowed there would be "no more rocket launches, nuclear testing or research!" Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking to reporters in Seoul, said the United States hoped for "major disarmament" of … [Read more...] about World can ‘sleep well’ after North Korea summit, Trump says
Bringing the Korean War to a formal end 65 years after hostilities ceased will also be on the table at the first-ever meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting president of its "imperialist enemy". It is an extraordinary turnaround from the tensions of last year, when Kim accelerated his weapons programmes -- earning the North more sets of UN Security Council sanctions -- and the two men traded personal insults and threats of war. But critics charge that the meeting risks being largely a triumph of style over substance. Kim arrived in Singapore on board an Air China 747 that, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24, took off from Pyongyang in the morning ostensibly bound for Beijing then changed its flight number in midair and headed south. He was driven into the city centre in a stretch Mercedes-Benz limousine accompanied by a convoy of more than 20 vehicles, and later met Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, thanking him for hosting the event. "If the … [Read more...] about Trump, Kim arrive for US-North Korea summit