Meeting Between Top US Diplomat, N. Korean Official Postponed
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned meeting with a senior North Korean official Thursday in New York City has been postponed.
The State Department issued a statement early Wednesday morning saying the meeting "will now take place at a later date. We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit.” The statement did not give a reason why the meeting was called off.
Pompeo was slated to hold talks with Kim Yong Chol, a senior advisor to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In announcing the meeting earlier this week, the State Department said the two men would discuss "making progress on all four pillars of the Singapore Summit joint statement, including achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea.
Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump signed an agreement at their landmark summit in June to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, but the two sides have been at odds over the pace of Pyongyang's efforts to end its nuclear weapons program.
North Korea warned last week that it will consider reviving its nuclear weapons program if the United States fails to lift its crippling economic sanctions against the regime. It is also seeking a peace treaty with the United States and South Korea that will formally end the 1950-53 Korean War that split the communist North from the democratic South.
UN Myanmar Expert Urges Bangladesh to Halt Rohingya Repatriation Plan
A United Nations' expert on Myanmar urged Bangladesh on Tuesday to "shelve plans" to begin repatriating Rohingya refugees to Myanmar's Rakhine state this month to avoid persecution.
Nearly three-quarters of a million of Myanmar's Rohingya fled Rakhine state in August 2017 after a military crackdown. Amid refugee and journalist accounts of widespread killings and rape and the torching of villages, the Rohingya settled in crowded camps in neighboring Bangladesh.
The two countries agreed on Oct. 30 to begin returning Rohingya refugees to Rakhine state by mid-November, but U.N. rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said the time is not right for their return.
"The Myanmar government has failed to provide guarantees they would not suffer the same persecution and horrific violence over again," Lee said in a statement. Lee added that the underlying causes of the crisis must first be addressed, including the right of citizenship.
Lee's warning followed a Facebook admission Monday that the social media network played a role in the genocide against the Rohingya people.
Last August, U.N. investigators accused Facebook of being "slow and ineffective" in tackling how it was being used to spread hatred among the country's Buddhist population against the minority Muslim Rohingya. In doing so, it "contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes," investigators said.
The report concludes Facebook was not doing enough to help prevent the platform from being used to foment division and incite offline violence, according to Product Policy Manager Alex Warofka, who wrote on the company's blog.
The report recommends Facebook create a rigorously enforced human-rights policy while clamping down on hate speech, as well as working to improve digital literacy, and the accuracy of the company's content in Myanmar.