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Aborted romance? North Korea accuses US of ‘gangster-like mindset’

North Korea slammed what it called the United States’ “gangster-like mindset” in denuclearization talks just hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the high-level negotiations as “productive” and insisted progress was made

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North Korea slammed what it called the United States’ “gangster-like mindset” in denuclearization talks just hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the high-level negotiations as “productive” and insisted progress was made.

“We had many hours of productive conversations,” Pompeo told reporters Saturday in Pyongyang before boarding a flight to Tokyo. “These are complicated issues, but we’ve made progress on almost all the central issues. Some places, a great deal of progress. Other places, there’s still more work to be done.”

North Korea, however, poured cold water on the talks, saying the “attitude” of the US was “regrettable” and not in the spirit of the June 12 summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“We expected the US to bring constructive measures to build confidence in accordance with the spirit of the US-NK Summit,” the statement carried by state-run news agency KCNA said, according to a CNN translation of the Korean version of the statement. “However, the attitude of the US in the first high-level talks held on the 6th and 7th were indeed regrettable.”

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The statement added, according to an English-language version of the statement released by KCNA: “The US is fatally mistaken if it went to the extent of regarding that the (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) would be compelled to accept, out of its patience, the demands reflecting its gangster-like mindset.”

The country called the outcome of the discussion “worrisome” and argued that the “cancerous issues” the US delegation raised were the same ones that had “amplified” distrust and the risk of war with past administrations, resulting in previous talks ending in failure.

He added, “No one walked away from that, they’re still equally committed, Chairman Kim is still committed.”

Musings From Abroad

CLIMATE CHANGE: Germany to sign climate protection contracts with industries

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As the cry towards a green environment intensifies amidst the increasing effects of climate change, Germany is taking a lead in the climate renewal agenda as it is set to sign climate protection contracts with industrial companies next year.

The Economy Minister, Robert Habeck revealed on Sunday that the agreement will support a transition towards cleaner production and a switch to hydrogen.

Habeck was quoted as saying by Funke media group that  “the aim is to efficiently develop a green industry along the value chain that becomes marketable.”

Reports emerged during the week that Germany was planning to award companies in energy-intensive industries including chemicals and steel 15-year subsidy arrangements that he called climate protection contracts, in return for reducing carbon emissions in their production.

Recall that several world leaders last month, converged in Cairo, the capital of Egypt for the United Nations COP27 Climate Summit, over talks on the “need to deepen cuts in emissions and financially back developing countries already devastated by the effects of rising temperatures.”

According to UNFCCC, the most recent seven years, from 2015 to 2021 were the warmest on record. The 2018–2022 global mean temperature average is estimated to be 1.17 ± 0.13 °C above the 1850–1900 average.

Africa seems to be feeling the heat more as countries across the continent’s East and West have suffered devasting drought and floods beyond what used to be the usual climate pattern.

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Musings From Abroad

Swiss firm, ABB, gets $4.3 million fine over bribery case in South Africa

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Judicial authority in Switzerland has fined engineering and technology group ABB, the sum of 4 million Swiss francs ($4.3 million) in connection with a bribery case in South Africa.

According to the country’s Attorney General, the fine on ABB is for “not having taken all necessary and reasonable organisational provisions in order to prevent bribery payments to foreign officials in South Africa”.

The group was found guilty of improper payments and other compliance issues at the Kusile power station after a wide-scale investigation into state corruption concluded in June 2022.

Earlier in the week, ABB and South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) agreed that the company will pay reparations for its involvement in state corruption.

According to a statement by the NPA, the company agreed to pay 2.5 billion rands ($144.51 million) in punitive reparations to South Africa within 60 days from the first day of December.

The reparation is in addition to 1.6 billion rand ($92.48 million)the company paid back to South African state power utility Eskom in 2020.

The Central Europe country has been fingered in lots of corruption cases involving African countries.

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