Bilateral relations

WASHINGTON/SEOUL – The White House said on Monday it fully expected an unprecedented meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to take place, if North Korea stuck to its promises, even though Pyongyang has yet to comment publicly on the possibility of a summit.

Russia probe closed

WASHINGTON – US House Intelligence Committee Republicans said on Monday the panel had finished investigating Russia and the 2016 US election, and found no collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow’s efforts to influence the vote. The committee Republicans said they agreed that Russia sought to influence the election by spreading propaganda and false news reports via social media.

No love match

BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel and her partners met to formally sign their agreement on a new “grand coalition” government on Monday and admitted it was a political necessity, not a “love match”. Ms Merkel said the “grand coalition”, faced an array of global challenges, including new trade sanctions planned by the United States.

Facebook role in crisis

GENEVA – UN human rights experts investigating a possible genocide in Myanmar said on Monday that Facebook had played a role in spreading hate speech there. Facebook had no immediate comment on the criticism on Monday, although in the past the company has said that it was working to remove hate speech.

Trump to meet crown prince

WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump will meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on March 20 at the White House, Mr Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Monday. The crown prince planned to travel to Washington, New York and Boston from March 19 to 22.

Turkey to clear militants

ANKARA – Turkey will soon clear the Syrian town of Afrin of militants and has already gained control of more than half the area, a government spokesperson said on Monday. “We have cleared an area of 1102 kilometres square from terrorists in Afrin,” Bekir Bozdag said.

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