A passenger reads a newspaper with headline of a planned summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, left, at subway train in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, March 10, 2018. The White House tried to swat away criticism Friday that the U.S. is getting nothing in exchange for agreeing to a historic face-to-face summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A passenger reads a newspaper with headline of a planned summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump. Ahn Young-joon / AP

Trump-Kim summit looks like a breakthrough, but is it?



It has been billed as the Trump administration's biggest diplomatic breakthrough, with both the United States and North Korea claiming credit for what has long looked an unlikely detente.

But with a summit over the North's nuclear weapons programme now planned, the US has cautioned that nothing has yet been achieved.

Indeed it has emerged that President Donald Trump enlisted the help of China's Xi Jinping to keep sanctions pressure on North Korea.

Despite the US leader's optimistic Tweet, the White House stressed that the US would continue to keep "maximum pressure" on Pyongyang.

The two leaders in a telephone conversation on Friday committed to maintaining "pressure and sanctions until North Korea takes tangible steps toward complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation," said the White House.

As aides scrambled to catch up with Mr Trump's decision - taken before consulting key confidantes - the White House sent mixed messages about conditions for the talks.

"They've made promises to denuclearize, they've made promises to stop nuclear and missile testing," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

"We're not going to have this meeting take place until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of North Korea," she told reporters.

The US made "zero concessions" and "consistently increased the pressure" on Mr Kim, Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday, one day after U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to meet with Kim.

North Korea's invitation for talks "is evidence that President Trump's strategy to isolate the Kim regime is working," Mr Pence said in a statement released by the White House.

Mr Trump's bombshell announcement follows months of volatile relations between the two warring factions, including North Korea scrapping a planned meeting with Mr Pence in February and tensions rising to their highest following a battery of missile tests by North Korea.

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Read more:

How Kim Jong-un is following the playbook of his father 

Donald Trump's summit with Kim Jong-un could be a game-changing encounter  

Oil edges up as US President Trump set to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un

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Mr Trump threatened "fire and fury" if Pyongyang continued to threaten the US only for North Korea to carry out its sixth nuclear test.

But amidst boastful threats and juvenile insults the Winter Olympics in South Korea ushered in a renewed use of soft power, including a visit to the South by Mr Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong and Ivanka Trump's trip to the Pyeongchang Games. All of which has seemingly pacified the North, the South and the US.

According to two South Korean government sources, North Korea's Kim Jong Un joked about his image in international media on Monday while serving South Korean officials local spirits, including liquor made of ginseng and Pyongyang soju, several bottles of wine and cold noodles during their four-hour unprecedented visit to Pyongyang.

"The bottles kept coming," said an administrative source who had official knowledge of the meeting.

Mr Kim entertained the National Intelligence chief Suh Hoon and the head of National Security Chung Eui-Yong, telling them that President Moon could rest easy at night now that Pyongyang had decided not to carry out nuclear or missile tests while talks with the US were ongoing.

"President Moon has had a rough time chairing national security meetings at the break of dawn whenever we fired missiles," Mr Kim was cited as saying.

Last year Pyongyang carried out 20 ballistic missile tests, almost all of them in the early hours of the morning.

When the South Korean officials visited, no hard feelings were displayed and Mr Kim was the first to tackle sensitive topics, including the resumption of a military exercise between South Korea and the US that was postponed for a peaceful Winter Olympics, the Blue House official said.

"This is when we knew the efforts of North and South Korea taken after the Moon Jae-in administration began had paid off," said one participant of the North Korea visit.

The South's National Security's Mr Chung is also set to travel to China following his Washington trip.

Under pressure from Mr Trump, Beijing has backed a series of United Nations sanctions against North Korea, sending relations between the Cold War-era allies to a new low.

Beijing has repeatedly called for negotiations to peacefully put an end to tensions that have raised fears of nuclear warfare, after months of fiery rhetoric between Mr Kim and Mr Trump.

But China's foreign minister Thursday stressed that "the sincerity" of all parties to solve the nuclear crisis would be tested, noting that breakthroughs on the North Korean nuclear issue had collapsed in the past.

"Of course it takes more than one cold day to freeze three feet of ice," he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the world leaders to hail the announcement as a "glimmer of hope," saying North Korea's nuclear drive "has been a source of great concern for all of us."

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

The specs: Macan Turbo

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 639hp
Torque: 1,130Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Touring range: 591km
Price: From Dh412,500
On sale: Deliveries start in October

Abu Dhabi GP Saturday schedule

12.30pm GP3 race (18 laps)

2pm Formula One final practice 

5pm Formula One qualifying

6.40pm Formula 2 race (31 laps)

Spider-Man 2

Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 5
Rating: 5/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

All The Light We Cannot See

Creator: Steven Knight

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Aria Mia Loberti

Rating: 1/5 

THE SPECS

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo

Power: 275hp at 6,600rpm

Torque: 353Nm from 1,450-4,700rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Top speed: 250kph

Fuel consumption: 6.8L/100km

On sale: Now

Price: Dh146,999

About Housecall

Date started: July 2020

Founders: Omar and Humaid Alzaabi

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: HealthTech

# of staff: 10

Funding to date: Self-funded

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

RESULTS

Bantamweight:
Zia Mashwani (PAK) bt Chris Corton (PHI)

Super lightweight:
Flavio Serafin (BRA) bt Mohammad Al Khatib (JOR)

Super lightweight:
Dwight Brooks (USA) bt Alex Nacfur (BRA)

Bantamweight:
Tariq Ismail (CAN) bt Jalal Al Daaja (JOR)

Featherweight:
Abdullatip Magomedov (RUS) bt Sulaiman Al Modhyan (KUW)

Middleweight:
Mohammad Fakhreddine (LEB) bt Christofer Silva (BRA)

Middleweight:
Rustam Chsiev (RUS) bt Tarek Suleiman (SYR)

Welterweight:
Khamzat Chimaev (SWE) bt Mzwandile Hlongwa (RSA)

Lightweight:
Alex Martinez (CAN) bt Anas Siraj Mounir (MAR)

Welterweight:
Jarrah Al Selawi (JOR) bt Abdoul Abdouraguimov (FRA)

Racecard

5pm: Al Bateen – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 2,200m
5.30pm: Al Khaleej – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m
6pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m
6.30pm: Al Nahyan – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
7pm: Al Karamah – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
7.30pm: Al Salam – Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

THE SPECS

Cadillac XT6 2020 Premium Luxury

Engine:  3.6L V-6

Transmission: nine-speed automatic

Power: 310hp

Torque: 367Nm

Price: Dh280,000

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
La Mer lowdown

La Mer beach is open from 10am until midnight, daily, and is located in Jumeirah 1, well after Kite Beach. Some restaurants, like Cupagahwa, are open from 8am for breakfast; most others start at noon. At the time of writing, we noticed that signs for Vicolo, an Italian eatery, and Kaftan, a Turkish restaurant, indicated that these two restaurants will be open soon, most likely this month. Parking is available, as well as a Dh100 all-day valet option or a Dh50 valet service if you’re just stopping by for a few hours.
 

About Okadoc

Date started: Okadoc, 2018

Founder/CEO: Fodhil Benturquia

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Healthcare

Size: (employees/revenue) 40 staff; undisclosed revenues recording “double-digit” monthly growth

Funding stage: Series B fundraising round to conclude in February

Investors: Undisclosed

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8