The Worm has returned. On Tuesday, former NBA great Dennis Rodman flew back to North Korea during a time of heightened tensions with Washington, after the rogue state's 16 missile tests so far this year, and its arrest of two more U.S. citizens, bringing the total number of Americans held by the regime to four. It's at least the fourth trip to North Korea for Rodman, who was previously hosted in 2013 and 2014 by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, a known basketball fanatic.
New Zealand gave about $NZ215,000 ($206,000) in aid for North Korean humanitarian programs over the past eight years, only halting the yearly fund due to concerns about the rogue state's missile tests. Documents released to the Taxpayer's Union under the Official Information Act have revealed New Zealand provided around $30,000 per year to its embassy in South Korea, with the money then directed to non-government organizations in North Korea.
The United Nations Security Council will vote on Friday on a U.S. and Chinese proposal to blacklist more North Korean individuals and entities after the country's repeated ballistic missile launches, diplomats said on Thursday. The draft resolution, seen by Reuters, would sanction four entities, including the Koryo Bank and Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People's Army, and 14 people, including Cho Il U, who is believed to head North Korea's overseas spying operations.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a special envoy of new South Korean President Moon Jae In agreed Thursday to resume "shuttle diplomacy" between the two leaders, according to the envoy. The shuttle diplomacy, which sees the leaders visit each other's countries roughly every year, has been suspended since December 2011 under the administration of then President Lee Myung Bak.The two leaders could hold their first face-to-face talks in July on the margins of a summit of Group of 20 major economies in Germany.
South Korea and the US’s tentative agreement to hold a summit in Washington as early as the end of June appears to mean that both sides recognize the need to fill the gap in summit diplomacy, created by the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye, as soon as possible. At the same time, the Blue House also seems determined to quickly dispel US concerns about South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in.
This week’s PD News roundup looks at nation branding efforts from Rwanda to North Korea.
Recent news from North Korea has focused on missile launches and nuclear tests. But when it comes to diplomacy, there may be a lesson from history – and sports. Asia Pacific Management consultant Ray Tsuchiyama shares some thoughts in this commentary. [...] Sports makes friends. Like 1971’s Ping-Pong diplomacy, let’s give soccer a chance to create a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.
Speaking during his formal oath-taking ceremony on Wednesday, Moon pledged to work for peace on the Korean Peninsula amid growing worry over the North's expanding nuclear weapons and missiles programme. "I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean Peninsula," Moon said. "If needed, I will fly immediately to Washington. I will go to Beijing and I will go to Tokyo. If the conditions shape up, I will go to Pyongyang."