North Korea re-establishes hotline to South +++ Palestinians condemn Trump threat

North Korea re-establishes hotline to South +++ Palestinians condemn Trump threat +++ Huge pro-government demonstrations in Iran +++ Terror attack in northern Nigeria +++ The weather

News | 3 January 2018

Joanna King

North Korea re-establishes hotline to South

North Korea has reopened a vital line of communication with South Korea, making a call on the hotline that connects the two governments. North Korean state media said the order to reopen formal communications across the border was given by leader Kim Jong Un, ending a nearly two year suspension. Ri Son-gwon is the head of the North Korean agency that handles inter-Korean affairs: “By upholding a decision by the leadership, we will make close contact with South Korea in a sincere and faithful manner.” South Korea has welcomed Pyongyang’s restoration of contact as a move toward direct and frequent dialogue between the countries. Seoul earlier offered to hold talks with Pyongyang next week, over its possible participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea. Meanwhile US President Trump has taunted Kim Jong Un, claiming on Twitter that he has a much bigger and more powerful nuclear button than the North Korean leader.

Palestinians condemn Trump threat

Palestinians have condemned as blackmail US president Trump’s threat to cut funding for the Palestinian Authority unless it recommences peace talks with Israel. Anger remains high among Palestinians over Trump’s decision last month to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi dismissed Trump’s threat. “We can survive without American aid. We will not succumb to blackmail.”

Huge pro-government demonstrations in Iran

In Iran, tens of thousands of people have taken part in pro-government demonstrations. State media reported huge crowds marching in at least 10 cities in support of Iran’s leaders. There are unconfirmed reports some government employees were ordered to participate. The demonstrations follow nearly a week of anti-government unrest that has left over 20 people dead. Social media postings indicated those protests continued last night, but on a smaller scale than previous evenings.

Terror attack in northern Nigeria

At least 10 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in the town of Gamboru in northern Nigeria. The attack comes less than 24 hours after Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau dismissed claims from the Nigerian authorities that the Islamic extremist group had been defeated.

The weather

Rain and snow showers with thunderstorms moving across the country from the west. Stormy winds especially in the west. A few sunny spells and top temperatures plus 1 to 7 degrees.


  • Joanna King