World Briefs: Defector is a criminal, claims Pyongyang

Defector is a criminal, claims Pyongyang

SEOUL • North Korea's deputy ambassador to Britain, who defected to South Korea this week, is a criminal who had been ordered to return home for questioning, Pyongyang state media said yesterday.

The defector, Mr Thae Yong Ho, had embezzled huge sums of money, raped a minor and spied for South Korea, Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The comments mark Pyongyang's first public response to the high-level defection, which was a rare and damaging loss of diplomatic face for North Korea.


Duterte agrees to ceasefire with rebels

MANILA • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to a new ceasefire with Maoist-led guerillas, who declared a truce ahead of fresh peace talks in Norway next week, a senior administration official said yesterday.

The ceasefire will come into effect this morning.

Mr Duterte lifted the unilateral truce with the communist New People's Army late last month after the rebels did not respond to a deadline to reciprocate the government's truce.


Manila says no to UN rights investigator

MANILA • The UN human rights investigator has said she hopes to visit the Philippines to probe alleged extrajudicial killings, but President Rodrigo Duterte's government bluntly declared yesterday she was unwelcome.

Police have shot dead 665 suspects, with vigilantes killing 889 others in an anti-drug crackdown, the Philippine police chief told a Senate hearing earlier in the week.


Former US Navy Seal forfeits book profits

WASHINGTON • The Pentagon has dropped a claim against a former Navy Seal who wrote about his experiences in the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden, after he agreed to forfeit earnings from the book, his lawyer said on Friday.

Mr Matt Bissonnette, who in 2012 published a book about his role in the raid titled No Easy Day, has finalised a settlement with the US government, Mr Robert Luskin confirmed.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 21, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Subscribe