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Japanese FM against 'dialogue for the sake of dialogue' with Pyongyang
In an interview with FRANCE 24, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono reacted to the proposal by his US counterpart Rex Tillerson to hold direct talks with North Korea without preconditions. Kono insisted that Pyongyang must first "abandon its nuclear weapons and missiles" before any talks. "Dialogue just for the sake of dialogue has been a failure in the past; we don’t want to repeat this mistake", he told FRANCE 24's Marc Perelman, adding that sanctions "have started to take effect".



US 'ready for direct talks with North Korea'
The United States is ready to talk to North Korea "without preconditions" but remains determined to force it to abandon its nuclear arsenal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday.



Obstacles remain as New Caledonia prepares to vote on independence from France
A year ahead of the deadline for a referendum on independence from France, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe is visiting the semi-autonomous overseas territory of New Caledonia to help oversee preparations for the 2018 vote.



Pope uses word 'Rohingya' in public for first time on Asia trip
Pope Francis on Friday used the word “Rohingya” for the first time during his current trip to Asia to refer to refugees who have fled in large numbers from violence in Myanmar.



Japan sets date for emperor's abdication
Emperor Akihito's planned abdication - the first by a Japanese monarch in about two centuries - should take place on April 30, 2019, a special panel chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed on Friday.



Pope urges ‘decisive measures’ to tackle Rohingya crisis on Bangladesh visit
Pope Francis demanded Thursday that the international community take "decisive measures" to resolve the causes of the mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, breaking his recent silence over the issue.



Video: As Pope Francis visits Burma, displaced Catholics hold out hope for peace



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