World News in Brief: June 18

Tuesday, 2019-06-18 10:35:09
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Twelve people died and another 125 were injured after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit southwest China's Sichuan Province on June 17 night, China's Ministry of Emergency Management said on June 18. The ministry has activated an emergency response and sent a work team to the stricken areas to provide guidance in rescue and disaster relief.

* The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced on Monday (June 17) that Tehran has increased the speed of low-grade uranium enrichment four times since it announced it would stop complying with parts of nuke deal last month.

* French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said he regretted Iran's decision to surpass the allowed uranium enrichment limit, but vowed to reinforce diplomatic efforts, with his partners, to find a path of dialogue and avoid escalation in the region.

* The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday denied US accusations that Russia was violating the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by conducting nuclear tests. Russia has repeatedly said that it strictly adheres to the multilateral CTBT and has stopped nuclear testing since 1991 in compliance with the pact.

* Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, will pay a state visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from June 20 to 21, at the invitation of Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, said Hu Zhaoming, spokesperson for the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

* The top diplomats of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States held phone talks ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to Seoul later this month, Seoul's foreign ministry said Monday.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his ROK counterpart Kang Kyung-wha on Monday stressed the necessity to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation. Russia and ROK are about to start official negotiations on the formation of a free trade zone, Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Kang after their talks in Moscow.

* Egypt's former President Mohamed Morsi died on Monday in court after the conclusion of a trial session in an espionage lawsuit, state-run Ahram reported on its website. Local media said the former president has suffered a heart attack.

* Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday said that Iran is ready to further develop relations with China in all fields of mutual interest, and welcomes China's investment in Iranian projects.

* Army leaders of Morocco and Pakistan on Monday discussed cooperation in defense and military fields, Moroccan state TV Al-oula reported.

* The World Bank has approved a US$500-million loan to support Uzbekistan's ongoing economic transformation and market reforms, aimed at increasing jobs and the well-being of its people, the bank's office in Uzbekistan said Monday.

* The head of the World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday lashed out at Houthi rebels in Yemen for misappropriating aid supplies.

* UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock on Monday painted a horrifying picture of the war in Yemen, saying about half a million people will die by 2022 if the war continues.

* Islamic Hamas movement on Monday warned Israel not to delay the implementation of the cease-fire deal which was brokered by Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar in May.

* Algerian Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah on Monday called for the election of a new president as soon as possible to meet the demands of the people.