The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AFP) – United States Secretary of State John Kerry sought Monday to present a united front against North Korea’s nuclear ambitions as he met his counterparts from China, Japan and South Korea.

Kerry, meeting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific meeting in Brunei, said that the two “both reaffirmed strongly the seriousness” of commitment to the denuclearisation of North Korea.

“We look forward to working with you to accomplish this goal,” Kerry said in brief remarks at the start of his meeting.

China is the main ally of North Korea, which defiantly carried out its third nuclear weapons test in February and threatened to attack the United States, in language that was shrill even by the standards of the reclusive communist state.

U.S. officials have credited China with taking a firmer line against the North Korean regime headed by Kim Jong-Un, as part of international sanctions.

This includes reports that state-owned Bank of China shut the account of a key North Korean government-controlled bank.

Kerry also met jointly with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korea’s Yun Byung-Se.

The two foreign ministers were expected later to meet one-on-one, their first such encounter since each country voted in new governments.

“The three of us, our countries, are working very, very hard together on a number of critical issues,” Kerry said at the start of the three-way meeting, listing North Korea as one item of common concern.

Yun said North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons “will never be tolerated” and that Pyongyang will “face further isolation and dire consequences in the event of provocations”.

South Korea and Japan, which are both close US allies, have prickly bilateral relations because of disputes related to Tokyo’s colonial rule of the Korean peninsula.

Yun called off a visit to Tokyo in April after two Japanese cabinet ministers paid respects at the Yasukuni shrine, which venerates 2.5 million Japanese war dead including prominent war criminals.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Youtube Screenshot

On July 21, Verizon followed in DirecTV’s footsteps and announced it would not be renewing its contract with the far-right conspiracy theory network One America News. Having learned nothing from its catastrophic response to DirecTV, OAN denounced Verizon and encouraged viewers to harass and boycott the “radical Marxist corporation.” And since then, OAN has only further proved its worthlessness.

Without a major carrier, OAN remains focused on national issues like a fear of roving transgender gangs harassing conservatives, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s support for gay men who flash “their genitals to little boys and girls” (she appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race -- a show with no children -- two years ago), and Verizon’s “censorship” of OAN.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

Postcards from the great American labor shortage: A couple arrives at the Seattle airport after a five-hour flight and stands in line at the car rental desk. People are angry. At the desk sits a harassed employee explaining that he simply has no cars of any kind to rent. Nothing. Why? There aren't enough employees on hand to vacuum, wash, fuel and process the cars.

Another snapshot. A couple has been driving for several hours and requires a bathroom stop. They pull into a Burger King. The doors are locked. The only service is at the drive-thru. Why? Lack of employees.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}