Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) shakes hands with North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho during their meeting in the capital Tehran on August 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) with North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho in Tehran on August 7, 2018. AFP

Trump pressure forces Iran, North Korea closer



Iran and North Korea are pledging to build stronger ties, highlighting the risk that President Donald Trump’s pressure campaigns may bring some US rivals closer together.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho called for expanded relations during meetings Tuesday in Tehran, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said. The report provided few details about the talks, other than to say the pair “discussed the latest regional and international developments, as well as issues of mutual interest.”

The meeting underscores the challenges facing Trump administration efforts to pressure the nations to curb their weapons programs and give up their nuclear aspirations. It came on the same day that countries from Russia to the UK criticised the restoration of US sanctions against Iran and Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, accused North Korea of moving too slowly on its “denuclearisation” promises to the president.

Mr Ri’s trip – aboard an Air China Ltd plane – was the latest example of North Korea’s greater diplomatic freedom in the wake of Trump’s June 12 summit with its leader Kim Jong Un. The envoy’s overseas travel this year has included visits to China, Russia and Singapore.

North Korea and Iran are at opposite ends of up-and-down relationships with the US, especially as illustrated by the president’s tweets. President Trump last month warned Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani that he would “SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED,” if he threatened America.

President Trump, who unleashed similar rhetoric against Kim last year, has praised the North Korean leader for returning the remains of about 55 service members killed in the Korean War -- the first tangible outcome since their summit. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo presented Mr Ri with a letter in Singapore last week, seeking another meeting with President Kim, in an effort to bolster talks.

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Read more:

US calls for keeping up sanctions pressure on North Korea

Iran confirms holding war drills in Gulf

Trump warns world that anyone trading with Iran 'will not be doing business with the United States'

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Turning waste into fuel

Average amount of biofuel produced at DIC factory every month: Approximately 106,000 litres

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Time required for one full cycle of production from used cooking oil to biofuel: One day

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SERIES INFO

Cricket World Cup League Two
Nepal, Oman, United States tri-series
Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
 
Fixtures
Wednesday February 5, Oman v Nepal
Thursday, February 6, Oman v United States
Saturday, February 8, United States v Nepal
Sunday, February 9, Oman v Nepal
Tuesday, February 11, Oman v United States
Wednesday, February 12, United States v Nepal

Table
The top three sides advance to the 2022 World Cup Qualifier.
The bottom four sides are relegated to the 2022 World Cup playoff

 1 United States 8 6 2 0 0 12 +0.412
2 Scotland 8 4 3 0 1 9 +0.139
3 Namibia 7 4 3 0 0 8 +0.008
4 Oman 6 4 2 0 0 8 -0.139
5 UAE 7 3 3 0 1 7 -0.004
6 Nepal 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 PNG 8 0 8 0 0 0 -0.458

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Bert van Marwijk factfile

Born: May 19 1952
Place of birth: Deventer, Netherlands
Playing position: Midfielder

Teams managed:
1998-2000 Fortuna Sittard
2000-2004 Feyenoord
2004-2006 Borussia Dortmund
2007-2008 Feyenoord
2008-2012 Netherlands
2013-2014 Hamburg
2015-2017 Saudi Arabia
2018 Australia

Major honours (manager):
2001/02 Uefa Cup, Feyenoord
2007/08 KNVB Cup, Feyenoord
World Cup runner-up, Netherlands

LA LIGA FIXTURES

Saturday (All UAE kick-off times)

Valencia v Atletico Madrid (midnight)

Mallorca v Alaves (4pm)

Barcelona v Getafe (7pm)

Villarreal v Levante (9.30pm)

Sunday

Granada v Real Volladolid (midnight)

Sevilla v Espanyol (3pm)

Leganes v Real Betis (5pm)

Eibar v Real Sociedad (7pm)

Athletic Bilbao v Osasuna (9.30pm)

Monday

Real Madrid v Celta Vigo (midnight)

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Korean Film Festival 2019 line-up

Innocent Witness, June 26 at 7pm

On Your Wedding Day, June 27 at 7pm

The Great Battle, June 27 at 9pm

The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion, June 28 at 4pm

Romang, June 28 at 6pm

Mal Mo E: The Secret Mission, June 28 at 8pm

Underdog, June 29 at 2pm

Nearby Sky, June 29 at 4pm

A Resistance, June 29 at 6pm