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NUKEWARS
NATO chief calls N. Korea 'global threat' during Japan visit
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Oct 30, 2017


N. Korea's Kim tours cosmetics plant with wife, sister
Seoul (AFP) Oct 30, 2017 - North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un took his stylish wife and powerful sister to a make-up plant for a "field guidance trip" amid the country's nuclear standoff with the US.

During a visit to the Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory in the capital, Kim hailed its "world-level" products that realised "the dream of the women who want to be more beautiful", the official KCNA news agency reported.

Kim was accompanied by Kim Yo-Jong, his younger sister and a senior member of the ruling Workers' Party, it said, with photos showing Kim's wife Ri Sol-Ju following him at the factory in a floral pattern dress.

The two are seen as the most powerful women in the isolated, deeply patriarchal nation.

They have often accompanied Kim to official events since he took power in 2011, in a break from the past when former leaders' spouses or sisters rarely made public appearances.

Ri, a former star singer also known for her affinity for luxury fashion, is known to have three children with Kim.

Yo-Jong, believed to be in her 20s, was promoted earlier this month to be an alternate member of the party's powerful politburo -- the decision-making body presided over by her brother.

Known to be handling the party's propaganda operations, Yo-Jong has been seen accompanying Kim closely and in a casual manner -- rare among the country's top officials -- at high-profile public events.

Both Kims were born to the late ruler Kim Jong-Il and his third partner Ko Yong-Hui, a former dancer.

At the factory they viewed a mosaic of their father entitled "To Provide Our People with Better Cosmetics", KCNA reported Sunday.

The Kim family has ruled the impoverished but nuclear-armed state with an iron fist through three generations since the nation was established in 1948.

Tensions have been high on the peninsula with the North conducting its sixth nuclear test in September and launching multiple missiles capable of reaching the mainland of its "imperialist enemy" the US.

Kim and US President Donald Trump have traded threats of war and personal insults against each other in recent months, sparking global alarm.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called North Korea a "global threat" Monday and said he backed tighter sanctions against it during a visit to Japan, which has been targeted by Pyongyang's provocations.

Stoltenberg is in Tokyo to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other senior officials including defence minister Itsunori Onodera later in the day.

"We are as concerned as you are about the provocative, reckless behaviour from North Korea," he said in a speech to a group of security experts and defence officials.

"It is really dangerous, it poses a direct threat to countries in this region (including) Japan, but it is also a global threat," he added.

Pyongyang has sparked global alarm in recent months by conducting its sixth nuclear test and test-launching missiles capable of reaching the US mainland, while US president Donald Trump and the North's young ruler Kim Jong-Un have traded threats of war and personal insults.

It fired two projectiles over northern Japan in less than a month, ringing alarm bells in Tokyo as Abe called for a get-tough approach towards Pyongyang.

"NATO strongly support political, diplomatic, economic pressure on North Korea and we welcome the strengthening of the sanctions" adopted by the UN Security Council in September, Stoltenberg said.

"But even more important, we need to be sure that the sanctions are fully and transparently implemented," he added.

Stoltenberg's visit comes after Abe met with him in Brussels in July to agree on boosting security cooperation.

"We know and you know that (North Korea's missile) ranges reach the west coast of the United State and the ranges reach most of Europe," he said Monday.

But the NATO chief warned this month that military action against Pyongyang would have "devastating consequences", after Trump said diplomatic efforts had failed.

Stoltenberg has stressed that Washington had the right to defend itself and its allies but called for greater diplomatic efforts.

"We don't have to use military force -- peaceful resolution is the aim," he said Monday.

Maritime security, including territorial rows involving China in the East and South China Seas, was also likely to be a topic of discussion during Stoltenberg's visit, according to a Japanese foreign ministry official.

NUKEWARS
India shrinks ties with NKorea but will not close embassy
New Delhi (AFP) Oct 25, 2017
India has slashed trade with North Korea in line with UN sanctions over the North's nuclear tests but will not close its Pyongyang embassy, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said Wednesday. North Korea was one of a number of key Asian security topics raised by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in New Delhi. The United States has reportedly been urging allies to cut diplomatic ties with the No ... read more

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