Pacific leaders expected to sign

new security agreement

NAURU (AP) — Pacific leaders meeting in Nauru are expected to sign a security agreement addressing climate change and crimes such as drug smuggling and illegal fishing that cross borders.

The declaration signing Wednesday is the centerpiece of the three-day Pacific Islands Forum. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrived to attend a leader’s retreat and the signing ceremony.

The declaration also addresses cybercrime and health issues such as communicable diseases and pandemics.

Earlier Wednesday, Pacific fishing and community groups signed an agreement with the European Union to improve sustainable fishing and ocean governance in the region.

Under the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership, the EU will provide 35 million euros ($41 million) and Sweden will provide 10 million euros ($12 million) over five years. The program will provide direct assistance to regional organizations.

South Korean envoys leave for

North Korea to set up summit

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean presidential delegation flew to North Korea on Wednesday for talks to arrange a summit planned later this month and help rescue faltering nuclear diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang.

It’s unclear who the South Korean envoys will meet in the North or whether they will see North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before returning to the South later Wednesday.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said his national security adviser will be carrying a personal letter for Kim. Moon said the envoys are tasked with a crucial role at a “very important time” that could determine the prospects for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

While pushing ahead with summits and inter-Korean engagement, Seoul is trying to persuade Washington and Pyongyang to proceed with peace and denuclearization processes at the same time so they can overcome a growing dispute over the sequencing of the diplomacy.

Seoul also wants a trilateral summit between the countries, or a four-nation meeting that also includes Beijing, to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War. The U.N. General Assembly in late September would be an ideal date for Seoul, but many analysts see that possibility as low, considering the complications of the process and how far apart the parties currently are.