Pyongyang, Sept. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday welcomed the upcoming working-level negotiation with the United States.
In a statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the Director General of the Department of U.S. Affairs of the Foreign Ministry said the DPRK-U.S. dialogue has two options, either improve the relations or add to the hostility toward each other.
"In this sense, the upcoming working-level negotiations will be an occasion decisive of the future road of the DPRK-U.S. dialogue," the unnamed official said.
He added that the discussion of denuclearization "may be possible when threats and hurdles endangering our system security and obstructing our development are clearly removed beyond all doubt."
Last week, Pyongyang said it was willing to speak with Washington later in September through a message conveyed by KCNA.
The talks between Pyongyang and Washington has been stalled since the no-deal summit meeting between DPRK top leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam in late February.
"Whether the DPRK-U.S. negotiation will be a window for a chance or an occasion to precipitate crisis is entirely up to the U.S.," the statement said.
Trump announced last Tuesday he had fired his National Security Advisor John Bolton over disagreements on foreign policy issues, including the DPRK. Bolton was known for taking a tough stance on Pyongyang, which brings hopes of reaching a deal between DPRK and the United States in the upcoming negotiations.
Sydney, Sept. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Two Chinese nationals were killed and another was seriously injured following a collision between a car and a tourist bus in the state of Western Australia on Sunday.
The two deceased and the injured women have been confirmed as residents of China's Macao.
Officials from the Chinese Consulate General in Perth told Xinhua that the injured woman is in a stable condition and will remain in hospital for observation.
According to the police, the crash occurred shortly before 2:00 p.m. local time on Sunday as the car in which the three women were travelling attempted to make a turn onto a remote stretch of a highway roughly 190 km north of the state capital of Perth.
The bus, which was carrying 34 passengers, collided with the women's car, causing it to roll before coming to rest on its roof.
"The driver of the car died at the scene. The two passengers were conveyed to Royal Perth Hospital by the RAC Rescue Helicopter. One passenger has since died," police said in a statement.
Some of the occupants of the bus were treated at the scene for shock and minor injuries.
The crash took place not far from the tourist site, the Pinnacles rock formations, on the notorious Indian Ocean Drive, which has also seen several serious crashes since it opened in 2010.
Last year two Chinese tourists were killed when the bus they were travelling in was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle. In 2017, three people, including a six-year-old boy were killed in a similar incident.
Representatives from the Chinese Consulate General in Perth have consulted with local police in order to notify the families of those involved and provide support to the injured victim.
Beijing, Sept. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Prices of farm produce in China continued to pick up last week, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed Monday.
From Sept. 9 to 15, the overall price of farm produce climbed 1 percent on a weekly basis, accelerating from the 0.9-percent increase in the previous week.
In breakdown, the average wholesale price of 30 types of vegetables went down 1.5 percent week on week, and that of six types of fruits registered a 3.2-percent drop during the same period.
The wholesale prices of pork and beef increased 4.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, rising from an increase of 1.5 percent and 1.8 percent the previous week.
Egg prices saw a 2.4-percent growth while cooking oil saw a slight rise in the wholesale price.
Food accounts for about one-third of China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation.
Official data showed China's CPI rose 2.8 percent year on year in August, unchanged from that in July.
New Delhi, Sept 26 (AP/UNB) — A Parliament member who is a senior pro-India politician in Indian-controlled Kashmir was arrested Monday under a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial.
Farooq Abdullah, 81, who also was the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested at his residence in Srinagar, the summer capital of the disputed Himalayan region.
"We have arrested him, and a committee will decide how long the arrest will be," said Muneer Khan, a top police official.
Abdullah is the first pro-India politician who has been arrested under the Public Safety Act, under which rights activists say more than 20,000 Kashmiris have been detained in the last two decades.
Amnesty International has called the PSA a "lawless law," and rights groups say India has used the law to stifle dissent and circumvent the criminal justice system, undermining accountability, transparency, and respect for human rights.
Abdullah's residence was declared a subsidiary jail and he was put under house arrest on Aug. 5 when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist-led government in New Delhi stripped Jammu and Kashmir of semi-autonomy and statehood, creating two federal territories.
Thousands of additional Indian troops were sent to the Kashmir Valley, already one of the world's most militarized regions. Telephone communications, cellphone coverage, broadband internet and cable TV services were cut for the valley's 7 million people, although some communications have been gradually restored.
On Aug. 6, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah denied to the lower house of Parliament that Abdullah had been detained or arrested.
"If he (Abdullah) does not want to come out of his house, he cannot be brought out at gunpoint," Shah said, when other parliamentarians expressed concern over Abdullah's absence during the debate on Kashmir's status.
Many anti-India protesters as well as pro-India Kashmiri leaders have been held in jails and other makeshift facilities to contain protests against India's decisions, according to police officials.
Kashmir's special status was instituted shortly after India achieved independence from Britain in 1947. Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in its entirety, but each controls only part of it.
India has often tried to suppress uprisings in the region, including a bloody armed rebellion in 1989. About 70,000 people have been killed since that uprising and a subsequent Indian military crackdown.
Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) - Police said 76 passengers were rescued from the whaleboat - a flat-bottomed vessel used to transport people on lakes and rivers, reports BBC.
It was travelling to DR Congo's capital Kinshasa from Mai Ndombe province, north of the city.
The cause of the accident is not yet known, but it is unlikely that passengers were equipped with life jackets.
Accidents on the waterways are common in DR Congo, often caused by overloading and unsafe vessels, correspondents say.
Many passengers on board the whaleboats, which are up to 40 m (130 ft) long and often with two decks, are unable to swim.
The boats are often relied upon as a means of transport, as DR Congo's road network is poorly maintained.