In Brief: Vivian lauds Thai cave rescue effort

Members of the Wild Boars football team, who were rescued from the Tham Luang cave complex, being ordained as novice monks at Wat Phra That Doi in Chiang Rai province. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Vivian lauds Thai cave rescue effort

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan noted that while recent tragedies struck the region, it also witnessed a miracle that captivated the world: The dramatic rescue of the young football team stranded in a cave in Thailand.

"The whole world was watching and praying, and I think we were all ecstatic when the rescue was made," he said, turning to Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai at the start of the Asean Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

"It also showed the bravery of the boys, the resilience and the unity of the team, the way you were able to engage and work with the international community as well, and the sacrifice and bravery of the navy Seals. We congratulate Thailand for that."

Trump receives letter from Kim Jong Un

United States President Donald Trump received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday that followed up on their recent discussions about denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, the White House said yesterday.

"The ongoing correspondence between the two leaders is aimed at following up on their meeting in Singapore and advancing the commitments made in the US-DPRK joint statement," White House spokesman Sarah Sanders said in a statement, using the acronym for the North's official name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Meanwhile, North Korean officials remained tight-lipped yesterday in front of media outlets in Singapore as they prepared to participate in a regional forum, Yonhap news agency reported.

Pyongyang is sending its Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho to the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), slated for tomorrow, as the nation's chief delegate.

Mr Ri is set to arrive in Singapore today.

Wang Yi calls for peace mechanism for Koreas

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday called for a push to establish a peace mechanism for the Korean peninsula as well as denuclearisation, adding that Beijing's position on the issue has always been clear.

Speaking to reporters after the Asean-China ministerial meeting here, he said: "We think the only viable way for settling the Korean peninsula issue is to achieve both complete denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula and establish a peace mechanism there," he said, adding that both elements are indispensable.

"The completion of both ends serves the common interests of the international community, including the DPRK and the United States. Hence China will continue to uphold this basic position of ours," he said.

Earlier, Mr Wang also said he hoped the US and North Korea would maintain contact and resolve each other's concerns to have success in their talks. He also met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of a meeting and discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2018, with the headline 'In Brief'. Subscribe