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February 26, 2019 Trump lands in Vietnam for second summit with North Korea’s Kim

Trump lands in Vietnam for second summit with North Korea’s Kim

HANOI (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Vietnam on Tuesday for their second summit in less than a year, at which the U.S. side will urge tangible steps by North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

Trump flew into Hanoi on Air Force One, touching down just before 9 p.m. (1400 GMT).

“Just arrived in Vietnam,” he wrote in a Twitter post. “Thank you to all of the people for the great reception in Hanoi. Tremendous crowds, and so much love!”

Kim arrived by train early in the day after a three-day, 3,000-km (1,850-mile) journey from his capital, Pyongyang, through China. He completed the last stretch from a border station to Hanoi by car.

The two leaders, who seemed to strike up a surprisingly warm relationship at their first summit in Singapore last June, will meet for a brief one-on-one conversation on Wednesday evening, followed by a dinner, at which they will each be accompanied by two guests and interpreters, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.

They will meet again on Thursday, she said.

Their talks come eight months after the historic summit in Singapore, the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

While much of that first meeting was about breaking the ice after decades of bitter animosity between their two countries, this time there will be pressure to move beyond a vaguely worded commitment by Kim to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Trump’s critics at home have warned him against cutting a deal that would do little to curb North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, urging specific, verifiable North Korean action to abandon the nuclear weapons that threaten the United States.

In return, Kim would expect significant U.S. concessions such as relief from punishing sanctions and a declaration that the 1950-53 Korean War is at last formally over.

Trump, landing in darkness, waved as he disembarked Air Force One and was met by senior Vietnamese and U.S. officials. His motorcade passed crowds waving the flags of Vietnam, the United States and North Korea on its way to the JW Marriott Hotel, his accommodation for the two-day summit.

Earlier, Vietnamese officials greeted Kim at the station in Dong Dang town after he crossed the border from China by train. He got a red-carpet welcome with honor guard, military band and fluttering North Korean and Vietnamese flags.

Kim was accompanied by his sister, Kim Yo Jong, an important aide.

February 26, 2019 In maintaining silence over Chand outfit’s terror, Dahal sees an opportunity to rebuild his own image

In maintaining silence over Chand outfit’s terror, Dahal sees an opportunity to rebuild his own image

Days after the explosion outside the Ncell headquarters in Lalitpur that killed one person, and a series of arson attacks targeting telephone towers in a dozen different districts, the needle of suspicion pointed to the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal.

Earlier this week, the Chand party owned up to the attacks and apologised for the loss of life—but it stopped short of renouncing violence, saying the attack was part of an action against the “comprador capitalists”. The same day, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa told the parliamentary State Affairs Committee that documents and other evidence obtained by the government showed that the Chand party was responsible for the attack.

However, Maoist leaders, who are now part of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) after their merger last year, have yet to make any comments on the attacks–they look akin to what the Maoists did in the initial days of the insurgency–perpetrated by the Chand outfit.

Some party insiders say the former Maoist party, led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, is not too keen on pressing for immediate stern action against the Chand outfit.

“The fact that none of the Maoist leaders has refuted the act of violence shows they still hold a soft corner for the Chand party,” a Maoist leader told the Post on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

At least two other Maoist leaders who are close to Dahal told the Post that a large section of the members of the party does hold sympathy for the Chand group, which was formed after breaking away from Dahal.

February 18, 2019 Protests in Nepal after satirical song taken off Web

Protests in Nepal after satirical song taken off Web

The sudden withdrawal of a popular song — full of satire aimed at corruption and highly placed public figures — from YouTube and other social media by its creator, apparently under political pressure, has sparked a spate of protests across the country and among the Nepali diaspora.

LUTNA SAKE LUT KANCHA

“Lutna sake loot kanchha, lutna sake loot, aru deshma paidaina, Nepal ma chha chhut,” (Loot whatever you can, as you can do that in Nepal) is a popular song by Pashupati Sharma. It disappeared from social media abruptly on Saturday night, with a note from Sharma that while he would make certain changes in the wording, he would not surrender his right as a Nepali citizen to raise his voice against corruption and wrong-doers.

As reports about the song’s withdrawal began coming up, an avalanche of support for the singer, and the right to protest against the government, have dominated public discourse.

Many Nepalis living abroad, mainly the US, actively challenged the ‘ban’ by reproducing the song, which has gone viral. Information Minister Gokul Baskota said he had no information about any ban.

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