Korean politics

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to visit South Korea for bilateral meeting on April 27

He will hold talks with the South’s President Moon Jae-in, during an inter-Korean summit in the Panmunjom truce village.

North Korea on Thursday announced that its leader Kim Jong-un would meet the South’s President Moon Jae-in on April 27 during a rare inter-Korean summit in the Panmunjom truce village near the demilitarised zone, AFP reported.

The decision was taken following a high-level meeting between the two sides, and came days after Kim made a surprise visit to China. Beijing on Wednesday announced that Kim, in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, had committed to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The meeting between Kim and Moon would be only the third of its kind, and would make Kim the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the cessation of hostilities between the two countries in 1953.

This would set the stage for the North Korean leader’s meeting with United States President Donald Trump, which is likely to be held in May. This diplomatic push to bring Pyongyang to the table comes months after the tension between the two countries ratcheted up because of Pyongyang’s efforts to boost its nuclear weapons programme.

Meanwhile, Japan and North Korea too have discussed the possibility of a bilateral summit in Pyongyang in June, The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on Thursday. The leaders of the North Korean Workers’ Party have reportedly been briefed about the possibility of a meeting between Kim Jong-un and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The diplomatic initiative was mentioned in a document used in “study sessions” that North Korea’s ruling party conducts for high-ranking officials. The document outlines the separate foreign policy initiatives to be taken when dealing with South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia.

“The Japanese government has recently indicated an interest in holding a summit meeting with North Korea through communications going through the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan,” the document states, referring to a pro-North Korea organisation in Tokyo that serves as Pyongyang’s de facto embassy. The two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations.

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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.