Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte could emerge as an unlikely peacemaker in the North Korean crisis.
The strongman leader, who launched a brutal war on Filipino drug lords, urged the U.S., Japan, China and South Korea to sit down with the rogue nation’s leader Kim Jong-un in pursuit of a diplomatic solution to the growing tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. Duterte is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in Manila next month, with North Korea likely to be top of the agenda, as Australia’s ABC reports :
Mr Duterte, speaking in Davao City overnight, said the situation in the Korean Peninsula would be the main agenda item in his talks with the US President.
“A nuclear war is totally unacceptable to everybody.”
Mr Duterte said it would be good if the US, Japan and South Korea would sit down and talk to Kim Jong-un and “tell him that nobody’s threatening him, that there would be no war, and that if you can just tone down or stand down, stop the threats, and that would be the same for America”.
China is “strongly dissatisfied” with the U.S. decision to impose anti-dumping duties up to as mush as 162% on Chinese aluminum foil. As Reuters reports, Chinese Commerce Ministry official Wang Hejun urged Washington to correct its “mistaken methods” :
The United States is not only harming the interests of Chinese companies, but also damaging the authority of multilateral trade rules, Wang said.
“We urge the United States to earnestly fulfill its international obligations, and take real action to correct its mistaken methods,” Wang said, adding that China would take steps to protect Chinese companies’ legal rights.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has joined a chorus of regulators warning against the rise of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, telling a parliamentary committee they help criminals do business. As The Australian reports, during testimony to the House of Representatives standing committee on tax and revenue RBA’s head of payments Tony Richards said:
“Cryptocurrencies can serve as a means of payment in the illicit economy.
Accordingly, their use may have some implications for tax authorities and they raise more significant issues for authorities tasked with crime prevention and detection.
The distributed and cross-border nature of digital currencies like Bitcoin means that regulation of the core protocols of these systems is unlikely to be effective. Authorities have therefore tended to focus on the’on-ramps’ and’off-ramps’ – that is the links to the traditional payments system.”
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