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Iran threatens to reduce cooperation with UN nuclear watchdog

Iran could reduce its co-operation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, President Hassan Rouhani told the body’s head on Wednesday, as he blamed U.S. President Donald Trump for the “new situation.” Source link link: Iran threatens to reduce cooperation with UN nuclear watchdog.....»»

Category: newsSource: manilainformer manilainformerJul 4th, 2018

Koreas extend conciliatory steps to Asian Games

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With the Koreas, there's no separating their sports from their politics. The war-separated rivals will take their reconciliation steps to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, where they will jointly march in the opening ceremony and field combined teams in basketball, rowing and canoeing. "Sports have played the role of peacemaker between the Koreas," said Kim Seong-jo, vice chairman of South Korea's Olympic committee and the country's chef de mission at the Asian Games. "If the combined teams put out good performances and win medals, that would be putting the cherry on the top." North and South Korea have used sports diplomacy this year in a bid to decrease animosity and initiate a new round of global diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang. South Korea leaders consider goodwill gestures as crucial to keep the positive atmosphere alive for what could become a long and difficult attempt to persuade the North to give up its nuclear and missile programs. There's not much Seoul can do beyond such gestures, though, as joint economic projects are out of the question when lifting sanctions against North Korea is far beyond the South's control. The more substantial discussions on the North's denuclearization — including what, when and how it would occur— are always going to be between Washington and Pyongyang. Here's a look at what the Koreas are planning for the Asian Games and their ebbs and flows in sports diplomacy: ___ BLUE FLAGS AND COMBINED TEAMS In the opening ceremony in Jakarta, athletes from North and South Korea will parade together under the flag featuring a blue map that symbolized a unified Korean Peninsula. It will be virtual repeat of the joint march during February's Winter Olympics in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang, minus the gloves, parkas and fur hats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent hundreds of athletes, artists and government officials to the Pyeongchang Olympics. The Koreas also fielded their first combined Olympic team in women's ice hockey, which drew passionate support from crowds despite losing all five of its games with a combined score of 28-2. At the Asian Games, the Koreas will be expected to deliver more than just feel-good stories. There's pressure for the investment to yield gold. A group of 34 North Korean athletes, coaches and officials have been in South Korea since last month for combined teams in women's basketball and the men's and women's events in rowing and canoeing. Coach Lee Moon-kyu, who has retained a core of South Korean players who won gold at the 2014 Asian Games at home in Incheon, got a first-hand look at North Korean players during exhibitions in Pyongyang in early July. Lee later picked three North Korean players for the Asian Games squad, including center Ro Suk Yong. Lee will also have a North Korean assistant coach on his bench. The Koreans will face Taiwan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and India in their preliminary group. South Korean forward Lim Yung-hui said the chemistry between the players has been improving. "The Northern players share the same goal of the gold medal and we talk a lot about how we should be putting out a good performance there," Lim said. "We weren't given much time, but we are practicing hard in a positive atmosphere." The Koreas will field combined teams in dragon boat events in canoeing and the lightweight men's four, lightweight men's eight and lightweight women's double sculls in rowing. If a combined team wins gold, athletes on the podium will hear the traditional folk song of "Arirang,"used in both Koreas as an unofficial anthem for peace, instead of their respective national anthems. The Korean athletes are likely to become an attraction at the Asian Games, where the international media will follow closely. At the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korean figure skater Kam Alex Kang-chan created a media frenzy by taking a selfie with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and posting it on Instagram. The photo recalled a famous 2016 selfie taken by two North and South Korean gymnasts at the Rio Olympics which International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach described as a "great gesture." ___ THEY DON'T ALWAYS PLAY NICE The Koreas have a history of using sports to foster diplomacy since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The 1991 world table tennis championships in Japan were the first time the Koreas fielded a combined team at a major international event. The atmosphere wasn't always friendly, though. During the height of their Cold War rivalry and recurring periods of animosity since, sports often became an alternate political battlefield. North Korean athletes and coaches would reject handshakes with their South Korean competitors and berate South Korean reporters during news conferences. The sports detente of 1991 evaporated when a North Korean athlete who competed at the world judo championships in Barcelona defected and arrived in South Korea amid heavy media coverage. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and relations dramatically worsened on the eve of the Seoul Olympics with the bombing of a South Korean passenger jet that killed all 115 aboard in December 1987. The inter-Korean warmth heading into this year's Asian Games contrasts with the awkwardness between the rivals surrounding the 2014 Asiad held in South Korea. Seoul's then-conservative government invited North Korean athletes to compete, but made it clear it had no interest in joint marches or combined teams. North Korean subsequently withdrew an offer to send its all-female cheering squad to Incheon after squabbling with the hosts over costs. North Korean leader Kim did send a senior government delegation to the closing ceremony, but they returned home without meeting then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye. The North was still seething over the Asian Game treatment years later as it gleefully observed Park's presidency crashing over a corruption scandal. "The Park Geun-hye group's mad confrontational racket is to blame for why (the North Korean) visit to Incheon did not result in improved relations," the North said in a statement in April last year. ___ WILL THE GOOD TIMES LAST? Kim has found a willing counterpart in Moon, a liberal who won the presidential by-elections to replace Park last year. Since the Pyeongchang Olympics, Kim has met Moon twice and leveraged the summits to get to U.S. President Donald Trump. After their June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump issued a vague aspirational goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing specific plans. Sports exchanges and other goodwill gestures are important policy tools for Moon, who wants Seoul to be in the "driver's seat" in international efforts to deal with Pyongyang. The Koreas have also agreed to resume temporary reunions between relatives separated by the war and are holding military talks to reduce tensions across their heavily armed border. "Hopefully, (the Asian Games) will provide an opportunity to use sports to facilitate diplomacy and cooperation," Moon said while meeting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Seoul last month. Seoul's presidential office hasn't announced yet whether Moon would attend the opening ceremony in Jakarta on Aug. 18. Whatever happens in Indonesia or with nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, the Koreas will always have those heartening selfies posted by athletes. "Sports can be used to build momentum and trust, but they don't solve fundamental problems," said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon. "There's not much South Korea can currently do, but at least it's trying to actively do the things it can to keep the positive atmosphere alive. ".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

Israeli PM’s wife charged with fraud, breach of trust

JERUSALEM --- Israeli prosecutors on Thursday charged the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with misusing over $100,000 in public funds to order lavish meals from some of the country's most famous chefs. While the prime minister was not directly implicated in the case, the indictment against Sara Netanyahu threatens to embarrass the long-serving leader and brings back attention to his own legal problems. Netanyahu has basked in months of political success, including the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and its move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, taking away attention from a series of corruption investigations facing the prime minister. Sa...Keep on reading: Israeli PM’s wife charged with fraud, breach of trust.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 21st, 2018

NATO’s chief appeals for unity amid trans-Atlantic row

LONDON --- NATO's chief is urging the alliance's 29 countries to set aside a festering trans-Atlantic row over trade, climate and the Iran nuclear deal, amid concern that the tensions will undermine the military alliance. In an editorial in Tuesday's Guardian newspaper, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said "the ties that bind us are under strain." He said "we must continue to work hard to settle our differences - and where differences persist, we must limit any negative impact on our security cooperation." Stoltenberg's message comes less than a month before US President Donald Trump meets with his NATO counterparts in Brussels. Stoltenberg says NATO has overcome div...Keep on reading: NATO’s chief appeals for unity amid trans-Atlantic row.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 19th, 2018

China hosts summit with Russia, Iran as nuclear deal wobbles

BEIJING: Iran, China and Russia may seek ways to salvage the nuclear deal ditched by Donald Trump when their leaders meet this weekend at a summit on the Chinese coast. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security bloc led by China and Russia, is set to hold its 18th annual gathering in the city… link: China hosts summit with Russia, Iran as nuclear deal wobbles.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Iran foreign minister in Moscow as Russia moves to save nuclear deal

MOSCOW, Russia – Iran's foreign minister was in Moscow on Monday, May 14, as Russia tries to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive in the wake of Washington's pull-out, pushing it into rare cooperation with Europe.  Iranian state television Irib broadcasted images of Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow , saying he had arrived ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

U.S. Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal Reckless: Libyan Expert

Washington’s withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal is a “reckless step” that threatens the Middle East, said Khaled al-Muntaser, a Libya international relations researcher and professor. “It is a reckless step that has negative implications on the Middle East, as it came after the easing of tension between Tehran and the countries of the region since […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsMay 9th, 2018

S. Korea offers to talk with North on Olympic cooperation

HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Tuesday offered high-level talks with rival North Korea to find ways to cooperate on next month's Winter Olympics in the South. Seoul's quick proposal following a rare rapprochement overture from the North a day earlier offers the possibility of better ties after a year that saw a nuclear standoff increase fear of war on the Korean Peninsula. In a closely watched New Year's address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics, though he also repeated fiery nuclear threats against the United States. Analysts say Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally Washington in a bid to reduce international isolation and sanctions against North Korea. Kim's overture was welcome news for a South Korean government led by liberal President Moon Jae-in, who favors dialogue to ease the North's nuclear threats and wants to use the Olympics as a chance to improve inter-Korean ties. Moon's unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, proposed in a nationally televised news conference that the two Koreas meet Jan. 9 at the shared border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties. Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of what he described as Kim's positive response to his earlier dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with North Korea and get the North to participate in the Olympics. North Korea did not immediately react. But if there are talks, they would be the first formal dialogue between the Koreas since December 2015. Relations between the Koreas have plunged as North Korea has expanded its weapons programs amid a hard-line stance by Moon's conservative predecessors. Last year, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its push to possess a nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. The North was subsequently hit with toughened U.N. sanctions, and Kim and President Donald Trump exchanged warlike rhetoric and crude personal insults against each other. Kim said in his speech Monday that North Korea last year achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces. Outside experts say that it's only a matter of time before the North acquires the ability to hurl nuclear weapons at the mainland U.S., but that the country still has a few technologies to master, such as a warhead's ability to survive atmospheric re-entry. Talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter-Korean ties, but conservative critics worry that they may only earn the North time to perfect its nuclear weapons. After the Olympics, inter-Korean ties could become frosty again because the North has made it clear it has no intention of accepting international calls for nuclear disarmament and instead wants to bolster its weapons arsenal in the face of what it considers increasing U.S. threats. "Kim Jong Un's strategy remains the same. He's developing nukes while trying to weaken international pressure and the South Korea-U.S. military alliance and get international sanctions lifted," said Shin Beomchul of the Seoul-based Korea National Diplomatic Academy. He said the North might also be using its potential Olympic participation as a chance to show its nuclear program is not intended to pose a threat to regional peace. In his address Monday, Kim said the United States should be aware that his country's nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. He said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk, warning that "the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike." He called for improved ties and a relaxation of military tensions with South Korea, saying the Winter Olympics could showcase the status of the Korean nation. But Kim also repeated that South Korea must stop annual military exercises with the United States, which he calls an invasion rehearsal against the North. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from the North, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

Iran s Rouhani: U.S. sanctions are economic terrorism

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said  US sanctions were "economic terrorism," as he sought to foster a united front from visiting regional officials on Saturday, December 8. Washington has reimposed an oil embargo and other damaging sanctions on Iran since pulling out in May from a landmark 2015 nuclear ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

‘Security cooperation would reduce confrontation in South China Sea’

HANOI --- Maritime law enforcementagencies should help uphold order, not become the tools of governments to "project power and change the order" in the East Sea, said Dr Pham Lan Dung, vice president of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. The ill-advised practice of unilateral moves has "resulted in a number of confrontations" in the region -- one of the busiest sea lanes in the world -- she said and called for deepened cooperation between the agencies of littoral countries. Her remarks were made as the legal expert was addressing the 'Fostering maritime security cooperation in the South China Sea' workshop held yesterday in Hanoi, which in its third reiteration, drew the partic...Keep on reading: ‘Security cooperation would reduce confrontation in South China Sea’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

India pollution watchdog fines Delhi over toxic smog

NEW DELHI, India – India's environmental watchdog has slapped New Delhi's government with a $3.5 million fine for failing to enforce rules to reduce smog in the world's most polluted major city, officials said Tuesday, December 4. The National Green Tribunal penalized the capital administration for its lack of oversight ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush remembered for role in Cold War, Iraq

HOUSTON/WASHINGTON — Tributes to former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, who died at the age of 94, poured in from around the world on Saturday as global leaders honored him for his role in helping to end the Cold War and reduce the threat of nuclear annihilation. Bush, the 41st U.S. president who served in the office from […] The post Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush remembered for role in Cold War, Iraq appeared first on Interaksyon......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

Port Moresby cardinal urges APEC to help poor, reject economy of inequality

The Catholic Church here has urged leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation to reduce the sufferings of the poor and to reject economic systems that promote inequality. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 19th, 2018

US sanctions: SWIFT network suspends Iran banks

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The SWIFT banking network, the backbone for international monetary transfers, said Monday it has suspended several Iranian banks from its service, after the United States reimposed nuclear sanctions on Tehran. “In keeping with our mission of supporting the resilience and integrity of the global financial system as a global and neutral service… link: US sanctions: SWIFT network suspends Iran banks.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsNov 6th, 2018

U.S. Iran sanctions move hits European companies

PARIS, France – US President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and reimpose a raft of sanctions puts European businesses on the spot. While the European Union insists it will stick by the nuclear accord to allow trade to continue with Iran, European companies are wary of being caught out by the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 4th, 2018

North Korea threatens to resume nuke development over sanctions

North Korea has warned it could revive a state policy aimed at strengthening its nuclear arsenal if the United States does not lift economic sanctions against the country......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2018

U.S. is loser by abandoning Iran nuclear deal – Rouhani

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's president boasted Sunday, October 14 that the United States has lost against the Islamic republic's "righteousness and wisdom" by walking out of the landmark nuclear deal . "Everyone knows that America has lost legally and politically by giving up on its international obligations and that we have achieved ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 14th, 2018

Iran parliament passes counter-terror finance bill

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's parliament on Sunday, October 7, approved a bill to counter terrorist financing that was strongly opposed by conservatives but seen as vital to salvaging the nuclear deal with European and Asian partners. The bill aims to bring Iran's laws in line with international standards and allow it ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 7th, 2018

Iran holds funerals for victims of terror attack in Ahvaz

AHVAZ, Iran --- In a collective outpouring of grief, Iranians held funerals Monday for the victims of the weekend terror attack on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz that killed 25 people, the deadliest attack in the country in nearly a decade. READ:Gunmen attack Iran military parade, killing at least 25 Saturday's assault in Ahvaz, the provincial capital of Khuzestan, was blamed on Iran's Arab separatists. At least 60 people were also wounded when militants disguised as soldiers opened fire at marching troops and onlookers at the parade. The attack has further shaken Iran, already facing turmoil in the wake of the American withdraw from Tehran's nuclear deal wi...Keep on reading: Iran holds funerals for victims of terror attack in Ahvaz.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

Japan to halt Iran oil imports

TOKYO, Japan — Japan’s major oil wholesalers are preparing to suspend crude oil imports from Iran in October, amid fears Washington will sanction countries importing Iranian crude, local media reported. US President Donald Trump in May pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and last month began reimposing sanctions that block other countries […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018

Japan to halt Iran oil imports under US pressure – reports

TOKYO: Japan’s major oil wholesalers are preparing to suspend crude oil imports from Iran in October, amid fears Washington will sanction countries importing Iranian crude, local media reported. US President Donald Trump in May pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and last month began reimposing sanctions that block other countries from trading… link: Japan to halt Iran oil imports under US pressure – reports.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018