SEOUL: The North Korean special representative for the US arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, apparently en route to Vietnam to meet his Washington counterpart ahead of a second scheduled summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.
Kim Hyok Chol arrived in the Chinese capital at around 10 am (0200 GMT) and was
expected to board a plane bound for Hanoi later in the day.
Kim’s trip comes three days after Kim Jong Un’s de-facto chief of staff, Kim Chang Son, landed in Hanoi to discuss protocol and security matters with the US team ahead of the summit on February 27-28.
Kim Hyok Chol and his US counterpart Stephen Biegun were engaged in three days of talks in Pyongyang earlier this month, exploring each side’s positions on denuclearisation ahead of the much-anticipated meeting.
Biegun said they had been productive, but more dialogue was needed.
“We have some hard work to do with the DPRK between now and then,” Biegun said,
adding that he was “confident that if both sides stay committed we can make real progress here”.
The US State Department said talks during Biegun’s trip explored Trump and Kim Jong Un’s “commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming US-DPRK relations and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula”.
Specifically, discussions on declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War could have been on the table, with Biegun last month saying Trump was “ready to end this war”.
The US envoy is expected to fly soon to Hanoi from Washington to resume talks with Kim Hyok Chol.
Experts say tangible progress on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons will be needed for the second summit if it is to avoid being dismissed as “reality TV”.
PM Imran congraulates Modi on BJP victory
ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan has congratulated Narendra Modi on BJP’s landmark victory via telephone here on Sunday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed his desire for both countries to work together for the betterment of their peoples.
“Reiterating his vision for peace, progress, and prosperity in Sout Asia, the Prime Minister said he looked forward to working with Prime Minister Modi to advance these objectives,” Spokesman added.
Incidentally, Hindu Nationalist BJP has ameliorated its position by bagging 303 seats.
US hiker found after 2 weeks lost in Hawaii forest
LOS ANGELES: An American yoga instructor who spent two weeks lost in the wilds of Hawaii, surviving on plants and water, has been found alive after an ordeal she described as “the toughest days of my life.”
Amanda Eller, 35, was rescued Friday beside a creek bed at the bottom of a ravine in a national forest on Maui after a helicopter spotted her.
She had been out on a hike when she vanished.
“The last 17 days of my life have been the toughest days of my life and it’s been a really significant spiritual journey,” Eller said from her hospital bed in a tearful video posted Saturday on the “Find Amanda” Facebook page created after her disappearance on May 8.
“It did come down to life and death and I had to choose. And… I chose life. I wasn’t going to take the easy way out, even if that meant more suffering and pain for myself,” she said.
Eller, who also works as a physical therapist, has been in the hospital since her rescue. She suffered a broken leg, a torn meniscus in her knee, sunburns and scrapes, The New York Times reported.
A grassroots fund-raising campaign collected more than $70,000, which paid for a helicopter to be hired for the search.
Video of her rescue shows Eller being hoisted into a helicopter as a volunteer shouts “And there she goes!” as she was lifted out of a steep ravine lined with waterfalls.
“I have the most gratitude and respect, and appreciation — I can’t even put it into words – for the people that have helped me, for the people that have paid for me, for the people that were at base camp,” said Eller from the hospital.
Eller’s boyfriend was the last to see her before she disappeared. Police found her car at a parking lot near a hiking trail.
She had gotten lost after leaving the trail to rest, the New York Times said. On the third day, she fell 20 feet (six meters) off a cliff, breaking her leg and injuring her knee.
“She is just as strong as we always said she would be. We knew she could make it this long,” supporters wrote on the Facebook page, which was followed by more than 20,000 people.
Hours before she was located, her family and friends announced a $50,000 reward for information on what they described as “her disappearance and possible abduction.”
During her ordeal, Eller lost around 15 pounds (seven kilograms), Javier Cantellops, one of the people who set out to search for her.
EU election: Le Pen leads in France
PARIS: Marine Le Pen, Far-Right National Rally party seems all set to finish top in European elections in France on Sunday.