China wants to hold semiformal six-nation talks this month on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and has secured Pyongyang’s agreement to participate, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday, citing an anonymous informed source.
Beijing envisions the so-called Track 1.5 discussions being attended by the senior nuclear negotiators from China, Japan, the two Koreas and Russia. The talks have been proposed for Sept. 18.
Washington, Tokyo and Seoul reportedly are not enthusiastic about the talks proposal, given a lack of signals from the North that it intends to denuclearize.
“It is uncertain whether South Korea, the U.S. and Japan would send their chief nuclear envoys to the proposed meeting in Beijing,” the diplomatic insider told Yonhap.
The last round of formal six-nation negotiations was held in December 2008. The negotiating format is focused on achieving the gradual shutdown of North Korea’s nuclear weapons-related work, which would be rewarded with timed infusions of economic support for and international security agreements with the nation.
The two Koreas also are slated on Friday to reconnect a two-way armed forces communication line that has been severed since March, Yonhap separately reported.
Seoul in recent negotiations with Pyongyang demanded that the military hotline be reconnected. Those talks focused on resuming stalled joint economic activities at an industrial zone inside North Korea.
On Thursday, U.S. President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a brief meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit. The two leaders were expected to discuss the North’s nuclear work among other shared security concerns, according to a White House release.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."