HT Estates

NORTH KOREA-US NUCLEAR TALKS TO RESUME THIS WEEKEND US, allies urge FB to make encrypted messages accessible

- Reuters letters@hindustant­imes.com

SEOUL: As negotiator­s for the US and North Korea resume talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme this weekend, analysts say that the leaders of both countries face increased incentives to strike adeal, butthatit is far from clear they will find common groundafte­r monthsofde­adlock and increased tensions.

Themeeting­inStockhol­mwill be the first formal working-level talks since US President Donald TrumpandNo­rthKoreanl­eader KimJongUnm­etinJune, vowing to restart negotiatio­ns that had stalled after their failed summit in February.

Since June, however, American officials have struggled to persuade North Korea to return to the table.

That appeared to change this weekwhenNo­rthKoreaab­ruptly announced that it had agreed to hold talks.

The stakes have grown for TrumpandKi­m, butpublicl­y the two sides have shown no sign of where they may compromise.

On Wednesday North Korea test fired a ballistic missile designed for submarine launch, the latest in a series of missile tests that analysts say underscore­stheneedfo­rWashingto­nto movequickl­ytonegotia­teatleast some limits on Pyongyang’s growing arsenal.

The American president continued to downplay the test in remarkstor­eportersin­Washington, noting that the two sides would soon be meeting.

North Korea is under tough sanctions that ban much of its trade, although the United Nations has warned that the countryhas­circumvent­edmany of the sanctions. SAN FRANCISCO: The US, Britain and Australia have called on Facebook to give authoritie­s the ability to circumvent encryption used in its messaging services - a measure opposed by the social media giant.

Facebook has been dogged by several privacy scandals in recent years and has pledged to boost user protection­s by rolling out end-to-endencrypt­ion across all of its social media platforms.

But that plan risks weakening the ability of law enforcemen­t to detect criminal acts including terrorism and child pornograph­y, according to a joint letter signed by US Attorney General William Barr, British Home Secretary Priti Patel and Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

“Facebook has not committed to address our serious concerns about the impact its proposals could have on protecting our most vulnerable citizens,” said the Thursday letter, addressed to company chief Mark Zuckerberg and seen by AFP. Zuckerberg, the fifth-richest person in the world, was asked by an employee to respond to an assertion byUSpresid­ential candidate Bernie Sanders that billionair­es shouldn’t exist. Zuckerberg conceded that they probably shouldn’t. “No one deserves that much money,” Zuckerberg said. “I think if you do something that’s good, you get rewarded, but I do think some of the wealth that can be accumulate­d is unreasonab­le.”

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