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US ready to talk to North Korea without preconditions

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WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said Washington is ready to begin talks on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament, without pre-conditions.

“We’re ready to have the first meeting without preconditions,” Tillerson told a meeting on the crisis at the Atlantic Council policy forum in Washington.

Tillerson’s new diplomatic overture comes nearly two weeks after North Korea said it had successfully tested a breakthrough intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put the entire United States mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

“Let’s just meet and let’s talk about the weather if you want and talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about,” Tillerson said.

This appeared to represent a softening in the US position, seeing as officials had previously demanded that Kim Jong-Un’s regime demonstrate a willingness to consider giving up its arsenal.

But, the White House later issued an ambiguous statement that left unclear whether President Donald Trump — who has said Tillerson was wasting his time pursuing dialogue with North Korea — had given his approval for the speech.

“The president’s views on North Korea have not changed,” the White House said adding, “North Korea is acting in an unsafe way … North Korea’s actions are not good for anyone and certainly not good for North Korea.”

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-Un has vowed to make North Korea the “world’s strongest nuclear power,” tate media reported Wednesday.

Mr Kim told workers behind the recent test of a new missile that his country “will victoriously advance and leap as the strongest nuclear power and military power in the world,” in a ceremony on Tuesday, according to state news agency KCNA.

GNN/Reuters

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26 rhinos die in a year in CNP

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CHITWAN — Chitwan National Park (CNP) witnessed zero poaching of endangered one-horned rhinoceros in the fiscal year 2074/75. But the death of the rhinos by natural causes has increased recently, as the park has lost a total of 26 rhinos to various causes in this period.

26 rhinos died from various reasons including natural disaster in the period, according to the CNP information officer, Nurendra Aryal.

Four rhinos were killed in flood-related incidents with two caught in a marsh caused by the flooding while two were swept away by flood waters, he informed.

Fighting, delivery complications (in case of some female rhinos) and aging are other reasons behind the deaths of a noticeable number of this endangered wildlife last fiscal year. Three female rhinos succumbed to child delivery complications in this period. They died after failing to give birth to their babies.

The park however has recorded no case of rhino poaching since April 8, 2017.However, the number of rhino deaths due to other reasons was slightly up in the year compared to the previous year, according to the CNP Information Officer Aryal.

This figure is followed by 25 and 15 rhino deaths in previous two fiscal years respectively.

The natural causes led to the death of 24 rhinos in the fiscal year 2073/74 and 15 in 2072/73.

The need of a study was felt to seek potential ways for minimising the death risk among rhinos with their death toll increasing every year, CNP chief conservation officer, Bed Kumar Dhakal said. A squad from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation has already begun a study to this end.

The CNP latest details mentioned about 605 rhinos here.

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