Beijing and Washington are studying multiple paths for restarting frozen nuclear negotiations with North Korea, a South Korean diplomat said on Tuesday.
“South Korea, the U.S. and China have been seeking various options to resume a meaningful dialogue on denuclearization [with North Korea],” South Korea’s senior negotiator to the paralyzed six-party talks, Hwang Joon-kook, told the Yonhap News Agency.
Hwang was speaking in Beijing, where he was scheduled to discuss the North Korean nuclear impasse with his Chinese opposite at the six-nation negotiations, Wu Dawei.
The multinational aid-for-denuclearization negotiations involving China, the two Koreas, Japan, Russia and the United States have been at a standstill since 2008. While Pyongyang has voiced interest in returning to the negotiating table, it has balked at taking any initial steps demanded by Washington to end its nuclear arms activities as a condition of the talks resuming. Beijing has argued against placing any preconditions on future talks.
Elsewhere, Japanese officials are slated to visit Sandia National Laboratories later this week as part of an Extended Deterrence Dialogue with the United States, the U.S. State Department said in a Monday press release.
The visit to the U.S. nuclear weapons complex in New Mexico is intended to “deepen [Japanese] understanding of the strategic weapons systems that support U.S. extended deterrence guarantees,” the department said. Japan is under the U.S. nuclear umbrella.
Separately, U.S. and South Korean airmen late last month conducted an exercise at Kunsan Air Base involving the response to a weapon of mass destruction, according to a Monday U.S. Pacific Command press release. In addition to its nuclear program, the North is assumed to have active chemical and biological weapons programs that officials fear could be used in attacks against South Korea.
Meanwhile, Singapore on Tuesday announced the filing of charges against a merchant firm, Chinpo Shipping Company, for allegedly helping to facilitate an illegal arms deal between Cuba and North Korea that was uncovered last summer, Reuters reported. U.N. Security Council sanctions outlaw all weapons commerce with Pyongyang.
What We're Following See More »
Even though they dislike both of them, the American people want to know that its presidential candidates are healthy. "Nearly two-thirds of registered voters think presidential candidates should release details about their medical histories, according to a new Morning Consult poll." In the new poll, 64 percent of Americans say the candidates should release their medical reports, up nine percent from May.
In a speech Friday at the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole summit, Fed chair Janet Yellen sounded an optimistic tone about the state of the American economy, before implying that a hike in interest rates is on the horizon. The Fed "continues to anticipate that gradual increases in the federal funds rate will be appropriate over time to achieve and sustain employment and inflation near our statutory objectives," Yellen said in her address.
While politicians argue over whether or not to be worried about potential voter fraud come November, a study tells us it is not a legitimate concern. "A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters in that 12-year span. The analysis found only 10 cases of voter impersonation, the only kind of fraud that could be prevented by voter ID at the polls."
The Democratic National Committee's "influx of money" in July "owes in part to an unprecedented workaround of political spending limits that lets the party tap into millions of dollars more" from Hillary Clinton’s biggest donors. "At least $7.3 million of the DNC’s July total originated with payments from hundreds of major donors who had already contributed the maximum $33,400 to the national committee." Those payments were "first bundled by the Hillary Victory Fund and then transferred to the state Democratic parties, which effectively stripped the donors’ names and sent the money to the DNC as a lump sum."
President Obama this morning "created the largest protected area on the planet Friday, by expanding a national marine monument off the coast of his native Hawaii to encompass 582,578 square miles of land and sea."