White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has said that President Donald Trump was open to another meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un despite National Security Adviser John Bolton’s assertion that Washington is still waiting for Pyongyang to take steps toward denuclearization.
Donald Trump has received another letter from Kim, which Sanders described on Monday as “very warm” and “very positive”, noting that the White House will not release the letter unless Kim agrees, reports CNN.
The primary intent of the letter, she said at Monday’s briefing, was to “request and look to schedule another meeting” between the two leaders, something the White House is “open to”.
She said that the White House is “already in the process of coordinating” another meeting, but declined to provide further details on a time or location.
Sanders cited the letter as “further evidence of progress” toward denuclearization, noting that the latest parade was “not about their nuclear arsenal”.
The letter, she said, showed a “commitment to continuing conversations”.
Sanders’ comments came hours after Bolton said Trump has “tried to hold the door open” for Kim to denuclearize, but the US is still waiting on Pyongyang to take those steps, CNN said.
South Korean officials also said last week that Kim has “unwavering trust for President Donald Trump” and wants to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula before the US leader finishes his term. (IANS)
In all areas related to the enjoyment of economic and social rights, including health, housing, education, social security, employment, food, water and sanitation, much of the country’s population is being left behind
Despite more than a year of international engagement and promises of economic reform by North Korea’s leaders, the human rights situation in the isolated country remains dire, a top U.N. rights official said Friday.
Blocked by the government from visiting North Korea, U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in North Korea Tomas Quintana visited South Korea this week as part of an investigation that will be provided to the U.N. Human Rights Council in March.
Noting that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has embarked on an effort to improve living conditions by focusing on economic development, Quintana said his preliminary findings showed those efforts had not translated into improvements in the lives of most people.
“The fact is, that with all the positive developments the world has witnessed in the last year, it is all the more regrettable that the reality for human rights on the ground remains unchanged, and continues to be extremely serious,” he told reporters at a briefing in Seoul.
“In all areas related to the enjoyment of economic and social rights, including health, housing, education, social security, employment, food, water and sanitation, much of the country’s population is being left behind,” Quintana added.
Left out of talks
North Korea denies human rights abuses and says the issue is used by the international community as a political ploy to isolate it.
Human rights were noticeably absent from talks between Kim and the leaders of South Korea and the United States last year, over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
But in December, the United States imposed sanctions on an additional three North Korean officials, including a top aide to Kim, for serious rights abuses and censorship.
North Korea’s foreign ministry warned in a statement after the December sanctions were announced, that the measures could lead to a return to “exchanges of fire” and North Korea’s disarming could be blocked forever.
While noting he had “no specific information” on whether international sanctions were hurting ordinary North Koreans, Quintana said the sanctions targeted the economy as a whole and “raised questions” about the possible impact on the public.
He cited a reference by Kim in his new year message to the need to improve living standards, saying it was a rare acknowledgement of the economic and social hardships faced by many North Koreans.