(Pyongyang) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is planning a trip to Pyongyang to meet with North Korean lead Kim Jong Un. North Korean state media Sunday reported the planned meeting, which comes after Assad received the credentials of the North Korean ambassador to Syria.
The U.N. has accused North Korea of working with Syria on chemical weapons, something both nations deny. Depending on when the meeting takes place, it could be the first time Kim publicly meets with a foreign head of state in Pyongyang since taking power in 2011. A planned summit between Kim and President Trump is set for June 12th in Singapore.
In related news, the White House is in the early stages of organizing a summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The Wall Street Journal” reported that the effort aims at resolving differences about nuclear weapons, Syria and Ukraine.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has reportedly been working for months to make the meeting happen. The two leaders have met twice before during other international gatherings.
(Pyongyang) — North Korea is warning the U.S. and other nations that support a new round of UN sanctions they will pay a heavy price. A statement from North Korea’s foreign ministry on Sunday criticized the actions and claimed the U.S. is intimidated by North Korea’s nuclear power.
In the statement issued through the country’s official news agency, it warns the U.S. that if it wishes to live safely, “it must abandon its hostile policy” toward North Korea and called the sanctions an act of war.
The UN Security Council last week unanimously approved the sanctions prompted by North Korea’s continued testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the sanctions will choke North Korea’s energy supplies and result in tighter restrictions on smuggling.
In Baltimore, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin says slapping new UN sanctions on the outlaw North Koreans marks a major accomplishment for the United States. The Democrat tells “Fox News Sunday” that “They’re pretty strong additional sanctions to be imposed against North Korea because of their continued testing of ballistic missiles.” The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says it “was absolutely a strong move forward and it was great to see China and Russia join us.” Cardin says the next step is diplomacy — finding a way to ease tensions and get North Korea to change directions.
United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley says the UN sanctions cut exports of gasoline, diesel and other refined oil products by 89-percent. It also bans exports of machinery, transportation vehicles and industrial metals to North Korea.