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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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NC leader Regmi passes away

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KATHMANDU— Nepali Congress leader Keshab Regmi, who contributed to restoring democracy in 1990, has passed away on Thursday night.

Regmi, who was suffering from respiratory problems for long, died at his residence in Gongabu in Kathmandu. Regmi, who also served as secretary of NC, Kaski, played an important role in establishing Nepal Students’ Union, the student wing of the NC.

He was also sent to jail five times for fighting to restore democracy. He is survived by two wives.

His last rites were conducted at Pashupati Aryaghat today itself. People from various walks of life and NC leaders attended his funeral rite.

On the occasion, NC President and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel and General Secretary Dr Shashanka Koirala paid tribute to Regmi by draping his body in the party flag.

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