MOSCOW: Russia said its foreign minister was planning a trip to North Korea after a media outlet said Wednesday Sergei Lavrov could visit the reclusive state next week.
“The visit of the head of the Russian foreign ministry to North Korea is in the works,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told AFP.
She said concrete dates would be announced separately, declining to comment further. Earlier on Wednesday, business media outlet RBC reported that Lavrov would visit North Korea on May 31, citing the Russian foreign ministry’s press department.
Last month North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho held rare talks with Lavrov in Moscow as Pyongyang moves to improve strained ties with global powers.
“Russia is as inclined as ever to develop good neighborly relations with North Korea,” Lavrov said at the time. North Korea prepares this week to demolish a nuclear test site, which has been the staging ground for all six of the North’s nuclear tests.
The North has portrayed the move as a goodwill gesture ahead of a planned June 12 summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore.
Relevant Piece Published Earlier: VIENNA: The head of the UN’s nuclear test ban watchdog said today that it stands ready to send a team to North Korea to verify the closure of the country’s nuclear test site. Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), said his body had “the required expertise, unique verification technology, and the much needed international credibility to confirm and monitor the closure of the Punggye-ri nuclear-weapon test site”.North Korea announced last week that it would destroy the site in a ceremony scheduled between May 23-25. While the CTBTO was not in a position to do any meaningful work on or before that date, it could do so before the summit scheduled for June 12 between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.“If before the summit we are called to do any in-field measurement… this is something that we can do,” Zerbo said. “A team for deployment could be put together in around a week,” he added. The fact that North Korea had not signed the CTBT “is not an impediment to make our technology available for the international community,” he added. However, Zerbo confirmed that no request for help with verification had yet been received from North Korea or with any other party to a possible agreement. A relevant piece published earlier: Satellite snaps show N. Korea is dismantling its nuclear sites ahead of a historic summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, a US monitor said today. In a move welcomed by Washington and Seoul, North Korea said at the weekend it will “completely” destroy the Punggye-ri test site, in a ceremony scheduled between May 23-25 in front of invited foreign media. But no observers from international atomic monitoring agencies have been invited, raising concerns over the openness of the process. Punggye-ri, in the northeast of the country, has been the site of all six of the North’s nuclear tests, the latest and by far the most powerful in September last year, which Pyongyang said was an H-bomb. North Korea pledged to close the testing ground after Kim last month declared the country’s nuclear force complete and said it had no further need for the complex.The respected 38 North website said Tuesday that satellite images dated May 7 showed “the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway”.Several key operational buildings, as well as smaller sheds, had been razed and rails connecting the tunnels to their waste piles were removed, the monitoring group said. Excavation of a new tunnel has also been halted since late March, it added.
Govt to continue efforts for curbing terrorism: Shireen
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari Tuesday said the government would continue its efforts to eradicate terrorism and the assertions made by leaders of opposition parties about statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan, were misleading.
Speaking in the National Assembly, she said Pakistan and Iran agreed to boost efforts to curb the menace of terrorism during the PM’s visit to the brotherly country.
She said the statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Iran had been been distorted since it was not properly quoted.
She criticized the opposition for quoting the Prime Minister out of context.
She said nobody could deny the past terror incidents in Pakistan and Iran.
She pointed out that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited to Pakistan during the tenure of past government and secret negotiations were held with the Indian National Security Adviser in Murree.
She was responding to a statement made by Pakistan Muslim League (N) legislator Khurram Dastagir in the House.
Bilawal’s political film flopped before release: Firdous
ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Tuesday said that Bilwal Bhutto Zardari’s ‘political film’ has flopped even before its release.
Responding to a tweet of Bilawal, she said that Pakistan Peoples’ Party was facing extinction even in Sindh and such hue and cry could not keep the dying politics of the party alive for long.
She said that Imran Khan in Tehran had referred to financial and economic cooperation among the states but the Opposition was trying to use it for political point scoring which was highly regrettable.
Alluding to the corruption and money laundering of Asif Zardari and his cronies, she said that when a person gets admission in Oxford University on money looted from national exchequer, he could not see the corruption of his father, aunts and uncles.
She also reminded Bilawal that he got educated in Oxford on the money of the poor people of Pakistan.
Bilawal takes jibe at PM Imran over Germany, Japan border statement
KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Tuesday took a jibe at Prime Minister Imran Khan for his remarks regarding the border of Germany and Japan.
The PPP chairman took to Twitter and wrote that it is embarrassing to hear our premier thinks Germany and Japan share a border. This is what happens when universities like Oxford let people in just because they can play cricket, he added.
😳 our Prime Minister thinks that Germany & Japan share a border. How embarrassing, this is what happenes when you @UniofOxford let people in just because they can play cricket. https://t.co/XJoycRsLG9
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) April 23, 2019