Summit Snippets: Vivian flies from China to Pyongyang

Vivian flies from China to Pyongyang

BEIJING • Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan flew to Pyongyang yesterday to prepare for a highly anticipated summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which will take place next week in Singapore, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Dr Balakrishnan met his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho and is expected to pay a courtesy call on Mr Kim Yong Nam, the ceremonial head of state.

The minister, who was sighted in Beijing boarding an Air Koryo flight bound for Pyongyang, had just wrapped up his one-day Washington visit on Tuesday.

Dr Balakrishnan is likely to discuss security and protocol arrangements for the summit, which will be held at the Capella hotel on Sentosa.

Trump lawyer: Kim begged for summit

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump's lawyer said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un begged "on his hands and knees" for a summit with the US President, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. "They... said they were going to go to nuclear war with us, they were going to defeat us in a nuclear war," Mr Rudy Giuliani told a Tel Aviv investment conference, according to the newspaper. "We said we are not going to have a summit under those circumstances."

"Well, Kim Jong Un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in," Mr Giuliani added. He said that with the summit rescheduled, the United States has the upper hand. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

UN calls for N. Korea to free prisoners

GENEVA • A top United Nations rights expert called yesterday for North Korea to begin freeing prisoners under a general amnesty ahead of next week's historic summit.

Mr Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, called on Pyongyang to "issue a general amnesty to release hundreds of prisoners".

He hailed its recent release of three US prisoners, and urged the country to broaden its amnesty to anyone arbitrarily detained there, which he said was basically all prisoners.

He added that he understood prisoner releases would be part of a possibly drawn-out process. But he thought "a good signal of the government would be to start releasing prisoners".


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2018, with the headline 'Summit Snippets'. Print Edition | Subscribe