FILE - In this March 7, 2018, file photo, people watch a TV screen showing images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. The rival Koreas have agreed Saturday, March 24, to hold high-level talks next week to prepare for an April summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)
A TV screen showing images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. Ahn Young-joon / AP

Koreas to hold high-level talks in lead-up to summit



North and South Korea agreed to hold high-level talks next week to prepare for an April summit between the countries' respective leaders Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, South Korea said on Saturday.

The summit will aim to improve relations and resolve the standoff over the North's nuclear programme.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon will lead the South's delegation at the March 29 meeting at the border village of Panmunjom, where officials will discuss the date and specific agendas of the summit, according to the Unification Ministry. The North's delegation will be led by Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs.

The rivals agreed to a summit in late April when Mr Moon's envoys visited Mr Kim in Pyongyang this month. South Korean officials also brokered a potential meeting between Mr Kim and President Donald Trump by the end of May.

The leaders of the Koreas have held talks only twice since the 1950 to 1953 Korean War.

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It is unclear whether the leaders' meetings between Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington, if they take place, could lead to any meaningful breakthrough after an unusually provocative year. North Korea in 2017 tested its most powerful nuclear weapon to date and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles theoretically capable of striking the US mainland.

There are also concerns in South Korea over whether the appointment of John Bolton, Mr Trump's hawkish replacement of national security adviser H.R. McMaster, could potentially complicate efforts to set up talks between Mr Trump and Mr Kim, given his past bellicose rhetoric against North Korea.

A South Korean presidential official, who didn't want to be named, citing office rules, downplayed such worries on Friday, saying that Mr Trump remains firmly committed to the summit and is leading the drive to set it up.

The planned summit between Mr Moon and Mr Kim will be preceded by performances of South Korean pop singers in North Korea.

Tak Hyun-min, a South Korean presidential aide who completed a three-day trip to North Korea to arrange the events, said in Beijing on Saturday that it was agreed that the South Korean artists would hold a concert in Pyongyang on April 1 and follow it up with a joint performance with North Korean artists on April 3.

The South Korean artists will include some of the country's most popular pop singers, such as Cho Yong-pil, who performed in Pyongyang during a previous era of detente, and girl band Red Velvet.

Heavily-sugared soft drinks slip through the tax net

Some popular drinks with high levels of sugar and caffeine have slipped through the fizz drink tax loophole, as they are not carbonated or classed as an energy drink.

Arizona Iced Tea with lemon is one of those beverages, with one 240 millilitre serving offering up 23 grams of sugar - about six teaspoons.

A 680ml can of Arizona Iced Tea costs just Dh6.

Most sports drinks sold in supermarkets were found to contain, on average, five teaspoons of sugar in a 500ml bottle.

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The number of followers that Michael Cinco’s Instagram account has garnered.

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ICC Intercontinental Cup

UAE squad Rohan Mustafa (captain), Chirag Suri, Shaiman Anwar, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Saqlain Haider, Ahmed Raza, Mohammed Naveed, Imran Haider, Qadeer Ahmed, Mohammed Boota, Amir Hayat, Ashfaq Ahmed

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UAE v Afghanistan, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Hong Kong v Papua New Guinea, Sharjah Cricket Stadium

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Rating: 2/5

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Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

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Investors: Privately/self-funded

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UK - UAE Trade

Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and the UAE in 2022 was £21.6 billion (Dh98 billion). 

This is an increase of 63.0 per cent or £8.3 billion in current prices from the four quarters to the end of 2021.

 

The UAE was the UK’s 19th largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q4 2022 accounting for 1.3 per cent of total UK trade.


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