International News

Donald Trump accepts invitation to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

US Department of State Secretary Rex Tillerson said it will take a few weeks before the meeting between the two leaders is arranged.

United States President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to meet him, South Korean officials announced on Friday. US Department of State Secretary Rex Tillerson said it will take “some weeks” to arrange the meeting between the two leaders, AP reported.

The 10-member South Korean delegation, which had held talks with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang earlier this week, is now in Washington. They said the North Korean leader had agreed to stop nuclear and missile tests, reported BBC. “I told President Trump that at our meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he’s committed to denuclearisation,” South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong told reporters. “He pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.”

The South Korean national security adviser credited Trump’s “maximum pressure policy strategy” along with international solidarity for reaching this point.

Chung added that Trump appreciated the briefing, and said he would meet the North Korean leader by May. Later, the US president said it was a “great progress”, but added that sanctions against North Korea will remain in place until an agreement is reached.

The talks are likely to be held by May, reports said. If the meeting takes place, it would be the first ever between leaders of the two countries.

Tensions between the North Korean regime and the United States escalated in 2017 after Pyongyang stepped up its nuclear efforts. Donald Trump had warned North Korea a number of times against boosting its nuclear weapons programme. The two country’s leaders frequently traded ridicule, insults and threats.

In July 2017, Pyongyang twice launched a long-range missile that could potentially reach the US mainland. In September 2017, it conducted its sixth atomic bomb test and in November 2017, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, possibly the country’s longest-range test yet. It claimed this one had the capability to reach all of America.

The latest sanctions against North Korea were announced on February 23. The United States Department of Treasury had called its action the “largest North Korea-related sanctions tranche to date”. Pyongyang had described the fresh sanctions as an “act of war”.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

Play

Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.