Tag Archives: North

Thousands of Iraqis in Baghdad, Basra protest Turkish deployment in north

BAGHDAD Thousands of Iraqis protested on Saturday against Ankara’s deployment of troops to a base near the northern city of Mosul, with some burning Turkish flags and threatening violence against the soldiers for what they see as a violation of sovereignty.

News of the deployment of 150 Turkish soldiers earlier this month triggered a crisis among Ankara and Baghdad, which has appealed to the United Nations Security Council to demand their instant and unconditional withdrawal.

Ankara has refused, saying the troops had been component of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State, which nonetheless controls a massive component of the country. Baghdad denies inviting such a force.

At least 4,000 demonstrators gathered in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on Saturday, and many thousand much more in the oil city of Basra in the south, including Shi’ite militia members who held up banners reading “Death to Turkey. Death to Erdogan”.

“We consider any military presence on Iraqi land as foreign aggression which we must stand against utilizing all attainable implies,” Hadi al-Amiri, a Shi’ite lawmaker who heads the potent armed Badr Organisation, told protesters in Baghdad.

The rallies were organized and led by Shi’ite militia groups, which have threatened to use force against Turkey unless it withdraws.

Pointing his pistol towards an image of Erdogan, Amjad Salim, a regional commander in the Badr Organisation in Basra, mentioned: “We are on higher alert now awaiting orders from our commanders to set fire to the ground beneath the feet of Turkish soldiers.”

In Baghdad, Reuters reporters saw angry protesters trample on the Turkish flag and hit a caricature of Erdogan with slippers in a mark of disrespect.

“If Turkey thinks Iraq is busy with fighting Daesh and it can seize the chance to deploy troops then it need to feel twice before generating such a error,” said Abu Muntathar al-Moussawi, a nearby commander in Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq paramilitary group.

“We can target Turkish soldiers and coming days will prove it.”

(Added reporting by Aref Mohammed in Basra Writing by Ahmed Rasheed Editing by Isabel Coles and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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North, South Korea higher-level talks end without agreement, further meeting: media

SEOUL North and South Korea ended talks on Saturday with out coming to any joint agreement, South Korean media reported.

Hwang Boogi, South Korea’s chief delegate, was quoted by the Yonhap News agency as saying the two Koreas had not scheduled any further meetings.

The South’s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, was not right away accessible for comment.

The meeting was the 1st forum for high-level discussions over a range of concerns following an agreement in August that ended an armed standoff involving an exchange of artillery fire across the inter-Korean border.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park Editing by James Pearson and Alison Williams)

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North, South Korean officials meet in fresh bid to increase ties

SEOUL Senior officials from North and South Korea met for talks on Friday to discuss enhancing ties and resuming cooperation projects, like cross-border tours, stalled amid tensions that have remained higher for practically six years.

South Korean Vice Unification Minister Hwang Boogi met with the North’s Jon Jong Su, a vice director of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, at the jointly-run Kaesong industrial zone a handful of miles north of their border.

The meeting was the very first forum for high-level discussions over a variety of issues following an agreement in August that ended an armed standoff involving an exchange of artillery fire across their border.

The North was expected to seek the resumption of cross-border tours from the South to its Mount Kumgang resort, a as soon as-lucrative source of money for the impoverished state that was suspended in 2008.

Seoul in turn was expected to try to get Pyongyang to agree to hold reunions of war-separated households on a normal basis, a best humanitarian priority for the South, where a lot more than 60,000 mostly elderly people are seeking for relatives in the North.

“Between South and North, there are several issues to go over and resolve. We will do our ideal to operate them out step by step,” Hwang, the chief South Korean delegate, told reporters prior to boarding a bus to cross a land border into Kaesong.

The rivals, technically nevertheless at war right after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty, had all but cut ties since early 2010, when a South Korean navy ship was sunk by a torpedo that Seoul stated was fired from a North Korean submarine. Pyongyang denies any involvement.

The talks come a day soon after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared to claim that his country had developed a hydrogen bomb, which is much more effective than an atomic bomb, although authorities and U.S. and South Korean officials expressed doubt that the North has such capability.

Also on Thursday, the United Nations Security Council held its second meeting on human rights in North Korea, despite the objections of 4 nations such as China, its principal diplomatic and financial backer.

The agenda for Friday’s talks was “concerns that will improve ties” among the North and the South, according to the South Korean government. Inter-Korean ties are frequently measured in terms of industrial exchanges and joint projects.

The industrial zone in Kaesong, founded in 2002, is the last remaining major joint project to outcome from an earlier period of improved ties.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park and Jee Heun Kahng Writing by Jack Kim Editing by Tony Munroe and Michael Perry)

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North Korean leader Kim’s H-bomb claim draws scepticism

SEOUL North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared on Thursday to claim his nation has developed a hydrogen bomb, a step up from the much less powerful atomic bomb, but outside professionals have been skeptical.

Kim created the comments as he toured the Phyongchon Revolutionary Internet site, which marks the feats of his father who died in 2011 and his grandfather, state founder and eternal president, Kim Il Sung, the official KCNA news agency mentioned.

The work of Kim Il Sung “turned the DPRK into a strong nuclear weapons state prepared to detonate a self-reliant A-bomb and H-bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation,” KCNA quoted Kim Jong Un as saying.

DPRK are the initials of the isolated North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. A hydrogen bomb, also known as a thermonuclear bomb, utilizes a lot more sophisticated technologies to make a significantly more strong blast than an atomic bomb.

North Korea performed underground tests to set off nuclear devices in 2006, 2009 and 2013, for which it has been subject to U.N. Safety Council sanctions banning trade and financing activities that help its weapons system.

An official at South Korea’s intelligence agency told Yonhap news agency there was no evidence that the North had hydrogen bomb capacity, and believed Kim was speaking rhetorically.

The Foreign Ministry in China, North Korea’s most important economic and diplomatic backer, mentioned China was dedicated to making certain the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and resolving troubles through talks.

“We hope that all sides can do a lot more to ameliorate the circumstance and make constructive efforts to sustain peace and stability on the peninsula,” ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a everyday news briefing when asked about Kim’s remarks.

Impoverished North Korea and rich, democratic South Korea stay technically at war following their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty. The North has threatened to destroy the South and its major ally, the United States, in a sea of flames.

In spite of the underground tests, outdoors authorities suspect the North is brief of attaining the capability to place a nuclear warhead on a missile, despite the fact that it has boasted it had succeeded in the miniaturization of a weapon.

If the hydrogen bomb claim is correct, it would indicate advances in the North’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

“I consider it really is unlikely that they have an H-bomb at the moment, but I never count on them to preserve testing basic devices indefinitely, either,” said Jeffrey Lewis of the California-primarily based Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

It was possible the North was referring to the technology of boosting the yield of a nuclear device, possibly using fusion fuel, Lewis mentioned.

North Korea claimed in 2010 that it had effectively developed fusion technologies.

Assessing progress of the North’s nuclear plan is hard because no a single outdoors a close circle of leaders and authorities knows what advances have been made.

(Reporting by Jack Kim and James Pearson Extra reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing Editing by Tony Munroe and Nick Macfie)

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U.S. sanctions North Korea’s rocket command for ties to weapons program

Treasury also listed officials of previously sanctioned North Korean banks for activities tied to the North’s weapons proliferation activities, it stated.

The extra sanctions are developed to quit the North from evading existing U.S. and U.N. sanctions and avoid Pyongyang from accessing the U.S. economic technique, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

“As a outcome of today’s action, any property or interest in home of the designated persons in the possession of U.S. persons or within U.S. jurisdiction have to be frozen,” the statement said.

The extent of the entities’ monetary holdings held in the United States being targeted was not quickly clear.

Treasury said the Strategic Rocket Force was accountable for a series of ballistic missile launches in 2014 including two medium-range Rodong-class missiles in March final year.

The North is beneath a variety of U.N. Safety Council sanctions for its missile and nuclear tests, which ban trade and financing that help the country’s weapons programs and any tests that involve the use of ballistic missile technologies.

Six folks who are officials of the previously sanctioned Tanchon Commercial Bank and the Foreign Trade Bank were added to the sanctions list.

3 shipping firms with ties to a previously sanctioned firm involved in arms shipments were also added, Treasury said.

(Reporting by Jack Kim Editing by Stephen Coates)

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China, Russia oppose U.N. council meeting on North Korea

UNITED NATIONS China and Russia oppose U.S. plans to hold a unique meeting this week on human rights in North Korea, which has been accused by a U.N. inquiry of abuses comparable to Nazi-era atrocities, council diplomats said on Monday.

The United States, president of the Security Council this month, mentioned final Friday the meeting would take place on Thursday at two:30 p.m. (1930 GMT). Senior U.N. officials are anticipated to brief the council.

Numerous diplomats told Reuters each China and Russia had informed the council of their opposition to the meeting, which has the backing of nine of the 15 council members – Chile, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, Britain and the United States.

“China informed council members that the Security Council has no company with human rights but must appear at matters of international peace and safety,” one particular diplomat said, summarizing the Chinese complaint.

Russia, diplomats stated, raised a procedural complaint, noting the United States had not raised the problem in the course of a formal discussion final week on the council’s plan of perform for December.

The Security Council final discussed the concern a year ago.

Final month, China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said it would be a “undesirable thought” for the Security Council to hold such a meeting, adding the council “is not about human rights.”

The Safety Council added human rights in North Korea to its agenda final year, in spite of objections by China that led to a uncommon procedural vote. Beijing is a sturdy ally of Pyongyang.

Two diplomats mentioned a new procedural vote was probably offered the objections of China and Russia to the scheduled meeting. They stated Russia and China would most likely lose any procedural vote simply because they can’t use their veto energy in such circumstances.

The missions of China and North Korea have so far not responded to requests for comment on the planned meeting. A spokesman for Russia’s mission declined to comment.

North Korea has denied allegations of systematic human rights abuses, saying such charges are portion of a U.S.-led plot to destabilize the country.

A year ago this month, the 193-member U.N. Basic Assembly urged the Security Council to take into account referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court soon after a U.N. Commission of Inquiry detailed wide-ranging abuses in the hermit Asian state.

China is likely to veto any Safety Council bid to refer North Korea to the ICC, diplomats said.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau Editing by Peter Cooney)

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U.N. council to meet subsequent week on human rights in North Korea: U.S.

UNITED NATIONS The United Nations Safety Council will meet subsequent week on human rights in North Korea, which has been accused by a U.N. inquiry of abuses comparable to Nazi-era atrocities, the United States mentioned on Friday.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, Dec. ten at two:30 p.m. (1430 ET), the spokeswoman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Hagar Chemali, stated in a statement. She added that senior U.N. officials would brief the council.

    The other eight council members who supported the U.S. choice to revive discussions on alleged rights abuses in North Korea are Chile, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Britain, Chemali stated on Thursday.

The Security Council last discussed the problem a year ago.

Last month China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said it would be a “negative thought” for the Security Council to hold such a meeting, adding that the council “is not about human rights.”

The Safety Council added human rights in North Korea to its agenda final year, in spite of objections by China that led to a rare procedural vote. Beijing is a powerful ally of Pyongyang.

When speaking to reporters final month, Liu did not rule out a new procedural vote, even though Western diplomats say they have adequate votes to overcome Chinese objections.

China’s and North Korea’s U.N. missions did not respond immediately to requests for comment. North Korea has denied allegations of systematic human rights abuses, saying such charges are portion of a U.S.-led plot to destabilize the country.

A year ago this month the 193-member U.N. Basic Assembly urged the U.N. Safety Council to take into account referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) following a U.N. Commission of Inquiry detailed wide-ranging abuses in the hermit Asian state.

China is probably to veto any Safety Council bid to refer North Korea to the ICC, diplomats said.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau Editing by Sandra Maler)

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U.S., allies call for new UN meeting on North Korea human rights

UNITED NATIONS The United States and eight allies on the United Nations Safety Council on Thursday referred to as for reviving discussions on human rights in North Korea, which has been accused by a U.N. inquiry of abuses comparable to Nazi-era atrocities.

“Last year in December the U.N. Safety Council convened for the 1st time in history to talk about the human rights in (North Korea),” Hagar Chemali, spokeswoman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, stated in a statement.

“Right now, Chile, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States have requested an additional meeting of the Security Council to examine circumstances in DPRK (North Korea) and their effects on international peace and safety,” she added.

Chemali stated the United States, which holds the council’s rotating presidency this month, would operate rapidly to schedule the meeting.

Final month China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said it would be a “poor thought” for the 15-nation Safety Council to hold such a meeting, adding that the council “is not about human rights.” [nL1N136007]

The Safety Council added human rights in North Korea to its agenda last year, despite objections by China that led to a uncommon procedural vote. Beijing is a sturdy ally of Pyongyang.

When speaking to reporters last month, Liu did not rule out a new procedural vote, though Western diplomats say they have enough votes to overcome Chinese objections.

China’s and North Korea’s U.N. missions did not respond right away to requests for comment.

A year ago this month the 193-member U.N. Common Assembly urged the U.N. Security Council to take into account referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court following a U.N. Commission of Inquiry detailed wide-ranging abuses in the hermit Asian state.

China is most likely to veto any Security Council bid to refer North Korea to the ICC, diplomats said.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Energy stated it was crucial to keep council discussions on the situation in North Korea alive.

“We believe it is essential for the council to continue to shine a light on the abuses in North Korea and speak regularly about the DPRK’s human rights circumstance – and what we can do to adjust it – for as long as the crimes committed there persist,” she said in the statement.

(Additonal reporting by Michelle Nichols Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Handful of Syrians would decide on to leave homeland for North America: poll

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A new poll shows that handful of Syrians want to leave their country for North America, exactly where conservative U.S. presidential candidates have been calling for restrictions on refugees from the war-torn nation.

Of Syrians surveyed in their homeland who mentioned they wanted to move, a mere six percent chose the United States and Canada as their desired location, according to the poll by Gallup, a international polling and investigation firm primarily based in Washington, D.C.

Europe was the most well-liked destination, selected by 39 percent, followed by the Middle East and North Africa, with 35 percent, it said.

The poll interviewed 1,002 adults face-to-face in Syria in January, with a margin of error of plus or minus three.five percentage points.

North America was the least common region globally. Of these choosing the region, fewer than half selected the United States.

“There is nothing in the data that we identified that would imply that any individual is specifically attempting to come to the U.S.,” mentioned Mohamed Younis, a senior analyst at Gallup.

In the wake of the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris by Islamist State militants that killed 130 individuals, a quantity of presidential candidates from the U.S. Republican Party have warned against welcoming Syrian refugees into the nation.

They have warned that Islamist militants might try to enter the United States beneath the guise of getting refugees.

Final month, major Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said when Syrian refugees “begin pouring into this nation, we never know if they are ISIS, we do not know if it really is a Trojan horse.”

Republican Chris Christie has stated he does not trust the administration of President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to vet refugees, whilst Republican Ben Carson said at a campaign occasion that Syrian refugees, whom he compared to “rabid dogs,” would endanger Americans.

The Obama administration has said it will accept 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States more than the next year. A Gallup poll from late November showed 60 percent of Americans opposed the program.

Canada has stated it will accept 25,000 Syrian refugees by the finish of February.

The Gallup poll, released on Monday, located 46 % of Syrians general would leave Syria if they could. Residents in particular sections of Syria were not polled due to safety, representing about one-third of the population.

Syria’s war, which erupted in 2011, has killed some 250,000 folks and produced far more than four million refugees in a country of about 23 million men and women.

(Reporting by Sebastien Malo, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate adjust. Visit www.trust.org)

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Twin suicide attacks kill five individuals in north Cameroon: sources

YAOUNDE Suspected Boko Haram militants detonated two suicide bombs in a village in northern Cameroon on Saturday, killing at least five people, security sources and an official told Reuters.

“The provisional toll is seven dead, like the two suicide bombers, as well as two soldiers injured,” mentioned a senior government source, requesting anonymity.

(Reporting by Josiane Kouagheu and Sylvain Andzongo Writing by Emma Farge editing by Susan Thomas)

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