N.Korea 'having second thoughts' on denuclearization

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) – North Korean leader might be reconsidering denuclearization talks with the U.S., according to media reports.

Russian news agency TASS on Friday said Kim Jong-un may suspend the negotiations after a Vietnam summit with President Donald Trump collapsed late February.

"We have no intention to yield to the U.S. demands in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind," North Korea’s Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui told reporters Friday.

Kim Jong-un is set to make an official statement soon to announce his country’s further actions in the wake of the unsuccessful Hanoi summit, the deputy minister added.

Earlier reports have also emerged that North Korea was restoring rocket launch Dongchang-ri test site.

The North Korean diplomat blamed the U.S. for the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi saying the Americans "were too busy with pursuing their own political interests and had no sincere intention to achieve a result".

Trump and Kim met twice in less than a year since last June for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

After exiting Hanoi, Trump had said that he could not agree to the North’s request for a complete lifting of sanctions.

However, North Korea contradicted Trump saying Pyongyang insisted only on a partial lifting of sanctions.

Koreas: South alert over North's possible rocket launch

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) – South Korea is on alert over reports of a possible rocket launch by North Korea, media reports said Tuesday.

According to daily The Chosun, Seoul Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is "closely monitoring any preparations by Pyongyang" after the North reportedly reactivated a missile launch site.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry confirmed that Seoul and Washington have been thoroughly following the North's movements at Dongchang-ri long-range missile launch site.

Early this month, reports had emerged that North Korea was "restoring an ancillary building" at Dongchang-ri, which was partially disassembled last year.

In a news conference Tuesday, a South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman urged the North to make a "wise" judgment regarding reports of possible preparations for a missile or satellite launch, South's Yonhap news agency said.

"[South Korea] hopes that the North will make a choice, which will be helpful for all, through a wise judgment," spokesman Kim In-chul said.

The latest Trump-Kim summit ended without a deal as the two sides failed to bridge their differences over the scope of Pyongyang's denuclearization and Washington's sanctions relief.

US blames Kim for collapse of Korea summit meeting

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) – The U.S. has said that North Korean leader was not prepared for a deal Washington had to offer during a meeting with the U.S. president in Vietnam last week which was unexpectedly cut short.

Speaking to CBS News on Sunday, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said that Kim Jong-un "wasn't prepared to accept U.S. President Donald Trump's big deal".

However, the statement made by Bolton contradicts Pyongyang stand on the Hanoi summit.

"What we have asked for was the partial lifting of sanctions, not in their entirety," North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told a rare midnight news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, last Friday.

"In detail, we asked to lift five sanctions that were imposed within 2016 and 2017 out of a total of 11 UN sanctions and which affect ordinary people's livelihoods."

After walking out of the Hanoi summit, U.S. President Donald Trump had said: "It was about sanctions. Kim wanted sanctions to be lifted in entirety, we could not do that. [But] we have not given up."

Bolton, however, consistently refused to characterize the Hanoi summit as a "failure" since Trump and Kim broke away just after the beginning of its second day.

"I don't think we are in any worse shape than they were in past demonstrations. I think in fact we are in a stronger position because the maximum pressure campaign, as it's been called, of putting tighter economic sanctions on North Korea and enforcing those sanctions more effectively is what brought them to this point," Bolton said.

“Extensive discussions between the president and Kim Jong-un and- and the issue really was whether North Korea was prepared to accept what the president called ‘the big deal’, which is denuclearizing entirely under a definition the president handed to Kim Jong-un and have the potential for an enormous economic future or try and do something less than that which was unacceptable to us,” he added.

N. Korean media looks on bright side of Kim-Trump meet

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) – North Korea's state-run media has tried to make the most of their leader's summit meeting with the U.S. president which they cut short after failing to produce a deal.

"They had a constructive and candid exchange of their opinions over the practical issues," North's official news agency, Korean Central News Agency said.

The summit in Hanoi between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un unexpectedly ended early Thursday, with the U.S. president saying he could not agree to the North’s request for a complete lifting of sanctions.

"Sometimes we have to walk away," Trump said about leaving the summit session half-way. "And we decided not to sign anything today."

Trump and Kim met for the second time in Vietnamese capital on Wednesday and Thursday to strike a deal.

The KCNA said that the two leaders shared "common understanding that the efforts made by the two sides and proactive measures taken by them to defuse tensions and preserve peace on the Korean peninsula and completely denuclearize it were of great significance in building mutual trust and making a fundamental turn in the decades-long bilateral relations characterized by mistrust and antagonism”.

UN slapped sanctions on North Korea in 2006 after Pyongyang test-fired its nuclear arsenal. While Trump has been pushing on denuclearization, Kim has been insisting on lifting of sanctions "to build trust".

Troop pullout from South Korea not on summit agenda: US

                By Riyaz ul Khaliq </p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump has said that withdrawing American troops from South Korea was not on the agenda of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnamese capital later this month, local media reported.</p>    <p>“No, it's not. That [troop withdrawal] is not one of the things on the table,&quot; Trump told reporters on Friday when asked if he would consider withdrawing some of the 28,500 troops from South Korea. </p>    <p>His remarks came a few days after phone call with his South Korean counterpart in which the duo discussed the Hanoi Summit set for Feb. 27 and 28. </p>    <p>During the phone conversation held on Feb. 19, South Korean President Moon Jae-in praised Trump for “peace-making efforts” with North Korea, a statement by the Korean presidency said. </p>    <p>The statement said that Moon praised Trump’s “ongoing novel, bold diplomatic endeavors for the sake of peace on the Korean Peninsula”. </p>    <p>“[I] expect the summit slated for next week in Hanoi to become a critical turning point that adds substance to agreements reached at the historic Singapore summit last June, which aimed to complete denuclearization, establish a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and advance North Korea-U.S. relations,” the statement quoted Moon as having told Trump during the 35-minute phone call. </p>    <p>Trump and Kim are set to take forward the discussions on denuclearization and lifting of UN sanction on Pyongyang held during historic Singapore summit last June. </p>    <p>The statement quoted Moon as saying that South Korea can also play a role “in corresponding measures aimed at encouraging North Korea to take denuclearization steps”. </p>    <p>The South Korean president said that his government was determined to take on any role “should President Trump make a request, anything ranging from the connection of railroads and roads between the South and North to inter-Korean economic cooperation projects”. </p>    <p>“This would be a way to lessen burdens on the United States,” he added. </p>    <p>Moon said that it was because of “Trump’s unwavering resolve” that “difficult negotiations with North Korea have made headway up to this point”. </p>    <p>“Significant progress in inter-Korean relations is also attributable to your strong endorsement,” Moon told Trump over the phone call. </p>    <p>He noted over the past 25 years, numerous negotiations have failed to produce results, which only allowed the North to strengthen its nuclear and missile capabilities. </p>    <p>“You are now striving to overcome these unsuccessful diplomatic endeavors and seek a new diplomatic strategy for denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Moon told the U.S. president. </p>    <p>The statement said that Trump briefed Moon on the current state of preparations for the Hanoi Summit and the developments in negotiations with North Korea. </p>        <p>“The two leaders had extensive, in-depth discussions on concrete measures for cooperation to ensure the success of the upcoming second North Korea-U.S. summit,” it added.

Koreas: North pleads with UN to help tackle food gap

ANKARA (AA) – North Korea has appealed to the United Nations, asking for its help address its chronic food shortages that threaten the basic livelihood of the country's people.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said figures provided by Pyongyang show "a shortfall of 1.4 million tons in food production this year, including crops of rice, wheat, potato, and soybean".

According to UN figures, at least 10.5 million North Koreans, or 41 percent of its population, "are in need of food aid".

North Korea's call for help comes ahead of a second summit between the U.S. and North Korean leaders in Hanoi, Vietnam, set for Feb. 27-28.

Pyongyang is facing severe UN sanctions since 2006 when it first tested its nuclear arsenal violating international norms.

Dujarric said that several UN agencies were in talks with North Korea "to take early action in order to address humanitarian needs".

Güney Kore ile Kuzey Kore'nin olimpiyat adaylığı

ANKARA (AA) – Güney Kore, Kuzey Kore ile birlikte yapacağı 2032 Olimpiyatları ev sahipliği adaylığı için başkent Seul'u seçti.

Güney Kore haber ajansı Yonhap'ta yer alan habere göre, Kore Spor ve Olimpiyat Komitesi (KSOC), 2032 Yaz Olimpiyatları'nın Kuzey Kore'den bir şehirle ortak organizasyonu için Seul'u aday şehir olarak belirlediğini duyurdu.

KSOC'un genel kurul toplantısında yapılan oylamada 49 komite üyesinin 34'ünün oyunu kazanan Seul, diğer aday şehir Busan'ı geride bırakarak Güney Kore adına ev sahibi adayı olmaya hak kazandı.

Güney Kore ve Kuzey Kore, geçen yıl barışa yönelik spor diplomasisi kapsamında 2032 Olimpiyat Oyunları'na ortak ev sahipliği için adaylık başvurusu yapma kararı almıştı.

Kuzey Kore ise henüz kendi adayını belirlemedi, ancak altyapısının uygun olması bakımından başkent Pyongyang'ın aday şehir seçilmesi bekleniyor.

İki ülke ortak adaylık için niyet mektubunu cuma günü Uluslararası Olimpiyat Komitesine (IOC) sunacak.

Rusya'dan ABD lehine Kuzey Kore'ye nükleer santral teklifi

WASHINGTON (AA) – Rusya'nın ABD ile nükleer silah programı konusunda anlaşması karşılığında Kuzey Kore'ye gizli bir teklifle ülkeye nükleer enerji santralleri kurma sözü verdiği iddia edildi.

Amerikan Washington Post gazetesinin ABD'li yetkililere dayandırdığı haberinde, Rusya'nın Kim Jong-un yönetimine ABD ile anlaşması karşılığında gizli bir teklifte bulunduğu öne sürüldü.

Buna göre, Moskova, Pyongyang yönetiminin nükleer ve balistik füze programlarını durdurma karşılığında ülkede nükleer enerji santralleri kurma sözü verdi.

ABD istihbaratı, Rusya'nın bu teklifini geçen yılın son aylardında tespit etti.

Teklifin bir parçası olarak da Kuzey Kore'nin nükleer silah üretmek üzere kullanmasını engellemek için santrallerin Rusya tarafından işletileceği ve santrallerden ortaya çıkacak atık veya yan ürünlerin ise Rusya'ya nakledileceği iddia edildi.

ABD Başkanı Trump geçen haziranda Singapur'da Kuzey Kore lideri Kim ile bir araya gelmiş ve bu görüşme üzerine Kim yönetimi nükleer silah programını askıya almıştı.

Trump ile Kuzey Kore lideri arasındaki ikinci zirvenin ise şubat ayında yapılması bekleniyor.

North Korean, Cuban presidents meet in Pyongyang

By Munira Abdelmenan Awel

ANKARA (AA) – North Korean president met with his Cuban counterpart in the capital Pyongyang, local media reported Tuesday.

Kim Jong-un and Miguel Diaz-Canel discussed bilateral and international matters as well as the current situation on the Korean Peninsula on Monday, according to Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"They also discussed in depth the ways to vitalize cooperation and exchange in various fields," KCNA reported.

Diaz-Canel arrived in Pyongyang with his wife on Sunday as part of his first official trip abroad since he took office in April.

After serving as Raul Castro's vice president, Diaz-Canel became the first person outside the Castro family to rule the country in almost 60 years.

Pompeo'dan Kuzey Kore ziyaretine ilişkin açıklama

WASHINGTON (AA) – ABD Dışişleri Bakanı Mike Pompeo, Kuzey Kore'nin elinde bulundurduğu nükleer silahların yok edilmesine dair Kuzey Kore lideri Kim Jong-Un ile gerçekleştirdiği görüşmede “gerçek bir ilerleme” kaydedildiğini belirtti.

Pompeo, ABD Başkanı Donald Trump'la ikili görüşmesinin ardından, Kuzey Kore ziyaretine ilişkin Beyaz Saray'da basın açıklaması yaptı.

ABD Dışişleri Bakanı, "Geçen gece gerçek bir ilerleme kaydettiğimiz Kuzey Kore ziyaretinden döndüm. Önümüzde hala uzun bir yol ve yapılacak çok iş olsa da Kuzey Kore'nin elindeki nükleer silahları yok etmesi konusundaki gerçek hedefe giden yolu artık görebiliyoruz." dedi.

Pompeo, Birleşmiş Milletler (BM) 73. Genel Kurul Toplantıları kapsamında Kuzey Kore Dışişleri Bakanı Ri Yong Ho ile bir araya gelmiş, bu görüşmede Kim Jong-un'un Pompeo'yu Pyongyang'a davet ettiği belirtilmişti.

Bunun üzerine Pompeo, Singapur zirvesindeki taahhütlerin uygulanmasına yönelik ilerleme kaydedilmesi, Kuzey Kore tarafından verilen, nükleer silahların yok edilmesi sözü ve ABD Başkanı Donald Trump ile Kim Jong-un arasındaki ikinci zirveye hazırlanmak için pazar günü Kuzey Kore lideriyle başkent Pyongyang'da görüşmüştü.

– Pompeo'dan Büyükelçi Haley yorumu

Öte yandan, ABD'nin BM Daimi Temsilcisi Nikki Haley'in istifa ederek yıl sonunda görevinden ayrılacağını açıklamasına yönelik ne düşündüğü sorusuna Pompeo, "İyi işler çıkaran Büyükelçi Haley'e teşekkür ediyorum. Haley, 5 aydır beraber çalıştığım harika bir iş arkadaşım. Kendisine, ileriye dair önüne gelen seçeneklerde başarılar diliyorum." şeklinde cevap verdi.