Tillerson Discussed Pressures on North Korea with UN Security Council
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will join members of the United Nations Security Council on Friday to discuss putting "maximum pressure" on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program just days after expressed a willingness to begin talks with Pyongyang, without preconditions.
Tillerson will also meet with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday.
North Korea was high on the agenda in the meeting between Guterres, who was visiting Tokyo on Thursday, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Guterres reiterated United Nations Security Council resolutions on sanctions against North Korea's nuclear and missile programs needed to be fully implemented by all countries.
US Suspends Aid to Somali Military
The United States is suspending aid for much of Somalia’s armed forces over corruption concerns, U.S. officials confirmed to VOA on Thursday.
The suspension reflects the Somali military's repeated inability to account for aid items such as food, fuel and weapons.
A State Department official said the "pause" in aid is being made "to ensure that U.S. assistance is being used effectively and for its intended purpose."
Somali security force members who are actively fighting al-Shabab and receiving some form of mentorship from either the U.S. or a third party will continue to receive appropriate assistance, the official said.
She added that the Somali government has agreed to develop new accountability criteria that meet American standards, in order for other Somali units to receive U.S. assistance in a way that "builds greater transparency."
According to documents obtained by Reuters news agency, the Somali military has been unable to properly feed, pay or equip its soldiers, despite hundreds of millions of dollars of American support.
A U.S. and Somali team sent to assess nine Somali army bases between May and June of this year found that all but two of the bases showed no evidence that food aid had arrived or been consumed by the soldiers, Reuters reported.