The US special envoy for North Korea laid out an extensive list of demands for North Korean denuclearisation on Thursday that was likely to anger Pyongyang, even as President Donald Trump said the date and place for a second summit was set and hailed “tremendous progress” in his dealings with the country.
In a speech at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, envoy Stephen Biegun called for North Korea to declare all its nuclear and missile programmes and warned that Washington had “contingencies” if the diplomatic process failed.
Biegun said Washington would have to have expert access and monitoring mechanisms of the key nuclear and missile sites and “ultimately ensure removal or destruction of stockpiles of fissile material, weapons, missiles, launchers and other weapons of mass destruction”.
Pyongyang has rejected declaring its weapons programmes for decades.
Biegun also said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un committed during an October visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the dismantlement and destruction of North Korea’s plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities.
The information from Biegun goes much further than Pompeo himself did after his trip and further than any public statement by Pyongyang.
Trump appeared upbeat about the prospects for his second summit with Kim, telling reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday that a time and location had been agreed upon and would be announced next week.
He said he was making “tremendous progress” with North Korea. “They very much want the meeting. And I think they really want to do something, and we’ll see.”
Pompeo said on Wednesday that North Korea had agreed that the summit would be held at the end of February and that it would be “some place in Asia”.
Trump and Kim met in Singapore last June in the first summit between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, an event that produced a vague commitment by Kim to work towards the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, where US troops have been stationed in the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.
The State Department said Biegun will travel to South Korea on February 3 for talks with his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol “to discuss next steps to advance our objective of the final fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea and steps to make further progress on all the commitments the two leaders made in Singapore”.
North Korea has complained that the United States has done little to reciprocate for the actions it has taken so far to dismantle some weapons facilities. It has repeatedly demanded a lifting of punishing US-led sanctions and has also sought a formal end to the war.
Trump contradicts spy chiefs’ assessment
Trump’s optimism comes despite his own intelligence chiefs’ assessments that said there is little likelihood Kim will voluntarily give up his nuclear weapons or missiles capable of carrying them.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress on Tuesday that the government’s spy assessment does not support the idea that Kim will eliminate his nuclear weapons or the capacity for building more.
Private analysts, in several reports in the past four months, have also drawn on commercial satellite imagery to determine that the North is continuing to develop its nuclear and missile technology despite the test suspension.
In his speech, Biegun said the United States had told North Korea it was prepared to pursue commitments made in Singapore “simultaneously and in parallel” and had already eased rules on delivery of humanitarian aid to North Korea.
He said he planned to discuss “corresponding measures” Washington was willing to take in return for the dismantlement of North Korea’s enrichment capabilities when he holds talks with his counterpart next week.He was blunt about US expectations and said Trump had made clear he expected “significant and verifiable progress on denuclearization” to emerge from the next summit.
“Before the process of denuclearisation can be final, we must have a complete understanding of the full extent of the North Korean WMD and missile programmes through a comprehensive declaration,” he said.
“We must reach agreement on expert access and monitoring mechanisms of key sites to international standards, and ultimately ensure the removal or destruction of stockpiles of fissile material, weapons, missiles, launchers and other weapons of mass destruction,” he said.
Biegun said all these details would have to be addressed in working-level negotiations if the conditions were to be put in place “to fundamentally transform the US-North Korean relations and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
He pledged that once North Korea was denuclearised the United States was prepared to explore with North Korea and other countries the best way to mobilise investment in the country.
Biegun said the past 25 years of talks had shown that the possibility of failure was great, and stressed, “We need to have contingencies if the diplomatic process fails – which we do.”
Euro 2020: Christian Eriksen collapses in Denmark v Finland match
DEVELOPING STORYDanish attacking midfielder receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.Denmark’s attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen has collapsed on the pitch of Parken Stadium during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland. The 29-year-old was seen receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Copenhagen. Eriksen fell to the ground near the sideline…
DEVELOPING STORYDanish attacking midfielder receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.Denmark’s attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen has collapsed on the pitch of Parken Stadium during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland.
The 29-year-old was seen receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Copenhagen.
Eriksen fell to the ground near the sideline late in the first half and was immediately surrounded by medical staff. His distraught teammates formed a ring around him as medics pumped his chest.
The Group B clash was suspended.
More to follow.
UAE: Who will own your cryptocurrency after you die?
Experts reveal everything you need to know about passing down and inheriting digital assets. In the last two years, the global user base for crytpocurrencies has increased by nearly 190 per cent in terms of traded volumes. A survey by Statista of consumers across 55 countries ranks consumers in the UAE 19th most likely to…
Experts reveal everything you need to know about passing down and inheriting digital assets.
In the last two years, the global user base for crytpocurrencies has increased by nearly 190 per cent in terms of traded volumes. A survey by Statista of consumers across 55 countries ranks consumers in the UAE 19th most likely to be an owner of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, in 2020.
But unlike ‘fiat currency’ such as the dollar or the dirham, which can be easily passed on, exchanged, or used for transactions, we are yet to gin an understanding of what will happen to digital currency their owner dies. We know of instances where assets have been lost forever- in 2019, a crypto exchange lost $145 million after its CEO suddenly died and no one had access to the password of the digital wallet.
Safekeeping of passwords is important and equally important is letting your loved ones know about them. “It’s a question that has been bothering me for some time. I have investments worth $100,000 in various crytocurrencies. I have bought these through a broker and not directly from the exchange, which allows me to nominate a beneficiary. So, I am guessing if my wife wants to have access to it when I am gone, she should be able to. But I am not sure of the procedure. I am yet to safekeep my cryptocurrencies in a digital wallet; they are just lying in my account for now, which I know can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. I plan to explore more and make my cryptos more safe and secure and also let my better half know,” says Bawa K., who has been investing in digital currency since 2017.
How are cryptos bought?
Cryptocurrencies can be bought ‘peer to peer’ from people, directly from organisations ‘over the counter’ who offer their own tokens for sale, or from public exchanges such as Coinbase, Bittrex, Binance, Bithumb, Huobi, etc.
“These are the channels for most of the people to get and sell cryptocurrencies. And there are many other ways to get digital assets, for example, C2C(customer to customer) transferring, which are usually not used much,” says Ola Lind, Director, SoBitX.
How are they stored?
The cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology and stored in a so-called wallet. Each wallet corresponds to a pair of keys, a public key and a private key. The public key is used as an address to receive coins and the private key is used to identify the owner.
“Each owner should keep the private key safe. Anyone with this private key can access the assets in this wallet,” says Lind.
“In terms of storage, cryptocurrencies are stored in digital wallets. An individual has a range of choices in that regard, which include holding their digital assets in wallets on exchange, in software wallets such as metamask, or in hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger. In all cases, the individual must make their own judgment in terms of security and accessibility,” says Blaise Carroz, Vice President, Global Acquisition, Idoneus.
UAE law on digital currencies and wills
“While legally, the answer is yes, dependents can seek to claim digital assets, similar to any other type of asset, if your passwords, passphrases, and key locations die with you that probably won’t happen. Without those things your crypto assets will be inaccessible,” says Carroz, when asked if families could inherit their loved ones’ cryptocurrencies after they died.
Under the UAE Federal laws, the status of crypto is currently not sufficiently clear to be certain about adding crypto to one’s will. “However, a UAE resident can use a DIFC Will so that it covers all his worldwide assets, include crypto assets. This is possible since DIFC applies the laws of England and Wales, which recognises crypto assets as property. DIFC Wills also have a provision for including a ‘sealed’ document so that potentially one may leave a private key for the beneficiary to receive and use to retrieve the crypto,” advises Carroz.
“As with all things of this nature it is best to consult a professional law firm for advice for drafting wills with crypto elements due to the complexities involved,” adds Carroz.
When including digitally held assets in an estate planning instrument, Century Maxim recommends the following to be outlined in an estate planning instrument:
a. A clear list of the digitally held assets
b. Information of the digital wallet(s)
c. A memorandum of including the passwords and PINs
d. A step-by-step guide explaining how the beneficiaries can access those assets upon the execution of the estate planning instrument
“Without access to the identifiers to access the exchange or wallet, it would be near impossible to access the assets irrespective if it is briefly mentioned under an estate planning instrument. In such a case, it is more likely than not that the digitally held assets are under a highly secure and encrypted network — a feature for which investors of currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or recently the Dogecoin opt for because it is so difficult to intercept,” says Farhat Ali Khan, Managing Partner, Century Maxim International, a legal consultancy firm licensed based in Abu Dhabi.
Suneeti Ahuja Kohli
Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli has been in Dubai long enough to call it her spiritual home. She loves to travel but plans to settle down in Koi Samui, Thailand eventually to spend her sunset years by the sea. For now, she writes frequently on personal finance, retirement planning, business news and features, health and almost anything assigned by her editor. Her sojourns can be followed on instagram (suneetiahujakohli), news and views on Twitter @suneetiahuja, and for the rest, there’s a Facebook account.
Pakistan Budget 2021-22: Imran Khan chairs cabinet meeting
The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting of the federal cabinet on Friday. The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22. Budget to improve living standard of working class, labourers:…
The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting of the federal cabinet on Friday.
The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22.
Budget to improve living standard of working class, labourers: Farrukh Habib
The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said that the government was presenting an excellent, balanced and people-friendly budget for financial year 2021-22. In budget 2021-22, maximum funds will be allocated for the welfare projects for the poor segments of society, labour and working class, he said while talking to a private news channel.
Farrukh Habib said that the budget would be austerity-oriented and public-friendly and efforts would be made to put minimum burden on the common man. The resources generated through financial discipline, transparency and good governance were also being spent on the welfare of the people, he added.
The minister said besides big cities, balanced development of villages is also being ensured so that all facilities should be available to the youth and farmers living in rural areas. He said underprivileged segments of the society were most affected by Covid-19 difficulties and the government would not put any further burden of direct taxes and would facilitate the common man.
He said PTI is pro-labour party and Prime Minister Imran Khan has always been supportive for the rights of the workers, adding that the pays for labours including painters, unskilled labour, plumber, electricians was increased.
The minister said with the prudent policies of the government, over 13 per cent export has increased, adding the per capita income was also increased which is another historic achievement of the present government.
He said the country has better days ahead where common man will get full benefit from the prudent policies of the present government.
He mentioned that to make major changes in the Kamyab Jawan Programme (KJP), planning to increase the loan facility for youth, which would prove as an engine for jobs creation, poverty alleviation and economic growth in the country.
He said like KPK province, the Health Card project would be further expanded to other provinces of the country to facilitate working and poor class. He said the present government was constructing dams to provide 10 thousand megawatts electricity at cheap rate. Habib also assured that the government would control the inflation and common man would get relief on priority.
Pakistan heading towards economic stability: Fawad
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that Pakistan was heading towards economic stability after a long time.
In a tweet, he said all economic indicators were positive and such political and economic stability was only possible due to confidence of people and institutions in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) June 11, 2021
He urged the opposition to cooperate with the government on electoral and judicial reforms.