Vietnamese woman accused of killing Kim Jong Un half-brother returns to hometown
Robie de Guzman • May 4, 2019 • 2126
A Vietnamese woman who spent more than two years in a Malaysian prison on suspicion of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was released from jail and returned to Vietnam on Friday (May 3) night.
Doan Thi Huong arrived back to her family home, a small town in the province of Nam Dinh, 130 km (80 miles) from Hanoi, in the early hours of Saturday (May 4).
“I want to thank Nam Dinh province and the police of my home town for supporting me and protecting me safely to come back home,” she said.
The 30-year-old was charged along with an Indonesian woman with poisoning Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.
Malaysian prosecutors dropped a murder charge against Huong last month after she pleaded guilty to an alternate charge of causing harm. (REUTERS)
North Korea has no intention to sit down with the United States and urged South Korea to “stop meddling,” a senior diplomat said on Tuesday (July 7), just as a U.S. envoy was due to visit Seoul in an effort to renew stalled nuclear talks with Pyongyang.
Kwon Jong Gun, director general for U.S. affairs at Pyongyang’s foreign ministry, accused South Korea of misinterpreting Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui’s earlier statement dismissing an “untimely rumor” about another summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Choe said on Saturday (July 4) that North Korea does not feel the need for a new summit, days after South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had offered to mediate between Kim and Trump, suggested the two leaders meet again before the U.S. elections in November.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who led the talks with the North Koreans, was due to arrive in Seoul late on Tuesday for talks with Seoul officials over ways to revive the negotiations. (Reuters)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told a meeting of the politburo of the ruling Workers Party the North had stopped the novel coronavirus from making inroads in the country, state news agency KCNA said on Friday (July 3).
“We have thoroughly prevented the inroad of the malignant virus and maintained a stable anti-epidemic situation despite the worldwide health crisis, which is a shining success achieved,” Kim Jong Un said in a statement carried by KCNA.
He warned against self-complacency or relaxation in the anti-epidemic effort and urged North Koreans to maintain “maximum alert,” KCNA said in a statement.
While the reclusive country has not confirmed any infections, its public health ministry has reported all 922 people checked so far have tested negative. Hundreds of people, mostly cargo handlers at seaports and land borders, are regularly quarantined for monitoring.
A politburo meeting on Thursday (July 2) also touched on the construction of the Pyongyang General Hospital, underway in the capital. Kim expressed satisfaction with the project and thanked the builders for making headway under unfavorable conditions. (Reuters)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday (June 18) said his country would ease entry restrictions for people coming from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.
Speaking at a news conference on a day after the parliament session closed, Abe said Japan, which bans entry from more than 100 countries, will start coordinating discussion with the four countries.
Abe emphasised Japan needs a measure to restore people’s livelihoods and the economy hit by the new coronavirus pandemic. “We need a measure which controls the risk of infections with as few restrictions as possible, a measure which focuses more on protecting our jobs and livelihoods,” he said.
Abe also delivered an apology at the beginning of the news conference, over the arrests of former justice minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his wife, upper house lawmaker Anri Kawai, on suspicion of vote-buying. “I’m keenly aware of my responsibility as I once appointed him (Katsuyuki Kawai) Justice Minister,” Abe added.
Support for Abe, who had close ties to the ex-justice minister, has declined over what critics say is his clumsy handling of the coronavirus outbreak, a furore over efforts to extend top prosecutors’ retirement age, and questions about government programmes to support tourism and smaller companies. (Reuters)
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