Controversial North Korean general mobbed by media and protesters on visit to South


world
 Controversial North Korean general mobbed by media and protesters on visit to South

Family members of victims of the sunken South Korean naval ship Cheonan march with defaced portraits of Kim Yong-chol in Seoul on Saturday.

A North Korean delegation, headed by a general many in the South blame for attacks that killed dozens, has been greeted by protesting lawmakers as they arrived for the Winter Olympics closing ceremony.

The delegation is led by Kim Yong-chol, vice-chairman of the ruling Workers partys central committee, and reportedly includes officials responsible for the Norths nuclear program and, in a rare move, diplomats in charge of US issues.

The make-up of the group suggests Pyongyang is looking for a breakthrough in the impasse and economic sanctions resulting from its nuclear and missile tests and could signal a desire for more substation talks compared with an earlier visit by Kim Jong-uns sister during the opening ceremony.

The North Korean officials crossed the border on foot and were met by a mob of South Korean media before being rushed into waiting black police cars. 

Kim is a highly controversial figure to lead the delegation because many in the South blame him for the sinking of a naval ship that killed 46 sailors and attacks on remote islands in 2010. The 72-year-old previously headed the General Reconnaissance Bureau and was tasked with foreign espionage and cyber-attacks.

His trip coincides with a visit by Ivanka Trump, sparking speculation that officials from the two sides could meet while in South Korea. An earlier meeting with US vice-president, Mike Pence, was cancelled at the last minute after he criticised the Norths dismal human rights record.

The Winter Olympics have led to a dramatic rapprochement between the two neighbours that remain in a state of war. The two sides have begun discussions for the North to participate in next months Paralympic Games, which would be likely to lead to a lull in tensions until the end of March.

Several prominent politicians have spoken out against South Korean president Moon Jae-ins decision to allow Kim – who has been blacklisted by Washington and Seoul – to lead the eight-person delegation.

Dozens of protesters travelled to condemn Kim upon his arrival, some holding signs calling him a war criminal. Six opposition lawmakers camped overnight on a road near where Kim crossed the border into the South, saying Moon should cancel the visit, and local media reported some demonstrators might try to block the road leading from the border.

A day before the North Korean officials arrived in the South, Pyongyang said its nuclear arsenal was aimed only at the US and dismissed any talk that it would attempt to reunify the Korean peninsula by force, according to the state news agency.

Washington announced a new round of sanctions targeting more than 50 ships and trading companies and Donald Trump warned there would be a “phase two” if the move did not produce results.

By: The Guardian

« world

  CITIES NEWS
LONDON
DUBAI
BEDMINSTER, New Jersey
SEOUL
TAIPEI
MOSCOW
BERLIN
STOCKHOLM
WASHINGTON
LOS ANGELES
BRASILIA
SILVERSTONE, England
SAYLORSBURG, Pa
AMSTERDAM
BERGERAC, France
KABUL
BARCELONA
PARIS
MOSUL, Iraq
BRUSSELS
DOHA
CAIRO
FRANKFURT
LAUSANNE
  DATE NEWS
2018/09/24
Two Former Kavanaugh Classmates Withdraw Names From Statement Disputing Accuser


2018/09/23
Ed Whelan takes leave of absence from Ethics and Public Policy Center after claim Brett Kavanaugh accuser misidentified alleged attacker


2018/09/22
Kavanaugh accuser wants to talk to Senate; terms up in air


2018/09/21
100 Kegs or Bust: Kavanaugh friend has spent years writing about high school debauchery


2018/09/20
China teams up with Russia to aim for 'desirable world order'


2018/09/19
Ford lawyer: GOP plan for Kavanaugh hearing 'not a fair or good faith investigation'