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Thursday
Sep202018

Australian supermarket temporarily stops selling needles amid strawberry scare

iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) -- A major Australian supermarket chain is temporarily pulling sewing needles from its shelves as authorities continue to investigate cases of needles being put in fruit.

Woolworths, which has close to 1,000 locations across the country, announced on Thursday that it will temporarily stop selling needles.

"We’ve taken the precautionary step of temporarily removing sewing needles from sale in our stores," a Woolworths spokesperson confirmed to ABC News via email on Thursday. "The safety of our customers is our top priority."

Since people first reported finding sewing needles in strawberries last week, over 100 cases of fruit contamination have been reported in Australia, some of them likely "hoaxes" or "copycat events," officials said in a press conference Wednesday.

Andrew Colvin, the commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, also warned people that copycats or people perpetrating hoaxes would also be prosecuted.

"On that point, let me say this and let me be very clear: if there's anyone out there that thinks that this is in any way amusing or appropriate to walk into a supermarket anywhere in this country and place a foreign object into a piece of fruit, or they think that it's any way appropriate or amusing to take a photo of fruit that they may already have and to place an object in it and put it onto Twitter or put in onto Facebook and to spread it around and to contact health authorities, then they are seriously deluded and are potentially committing very serious criminal offences," Colvin said during Wednesday's press conference.

"Apart from distracting police from the real task that we have here, this is creating a lot of concern in the public and it needs to stop," Colvin added.

Earlier this week, a young boy was arrested for putting sewing needles inside strawberries in New South Wales, Australia. The boy, whose name has not been disclosed because of his age, confessed to putting the sewing needles in strawberries as a prank and is not believed to be the culprit behind other fruit contaminations in the region, New South Wales police authorities told ABC News.

The boy is the first person to be arrested since people reported finding sewing needles inside strawberries across Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia last week.

On Wednesday, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a press statement that the current maximum penalty for food contamination offenses will be increased from a 10 years to 15 years.

"For the most serious cases that have national security implications, we will amend the Commonwealth sabotage offences," Morrison said in the statement.

The penalties for such cases will range from 7 to 25 years in prison, he added.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Sep202018

Man tries to sneak on plane in the middle of night, forcing brief airport closure 

iStock/Thinkstock(MELBOURNE, Australia) -- Authorities in Florida briefly shut down an international airport after a man believed to be a student tried to board a plane in the middle of the night.

The suspect jumped an airport fence and boarded an empty American Airlines plane at 2 a.m. Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Orlando Melbourne International Airport said.

The man, whose name has not been released, was spotted by one of the plane's attendants who called the police.

The Airbus 321, which seats about 190 passengers, was empty at the time of the incident and police responded to the scene within two minutes of the call, airport spokeswoman Lori Booker said.

The suspect was arrested on site. The 26-years-old man was born in Trinidad and has a Florida driver's license, Booker said, adding he is believed to be a student pilot.

The man arrived at the airport by car, leaving his vehicle running curbside before jumping the airport fence and boarding the plane, Booker said.

He appeared to have a well-laid plan and knowledge of the airport layout, she said.

The plane was not scheduled to fly Thursday and Melbourne airport police are working with the Joint Terrorism Task Force to identify a motive, Booker said.

The airport was closed at around 5:45 a.m. "due to police activity," as the airport police stated in a tweet.

It reopened a little over an hour later.

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Thursday
Sep202018

Reported nerve agent possibly a hoax in UK town where former Russian spy was poisoned 

iStock/Thinkstock(SALISBURY, United Kingdom) -- The British public may have reportedly been duped after a couple appeared to fall ill at a restaurant in Salisbury, England, Sunday, sparking fears that the town had once again been exposed to a deadly nerve agent.

“A hoax is likely to be one line of inquiry” after Russian model Anna Shapiro and her husband, Alex King, collapsed at Prezzo restaurant just 350 yards from where a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with Novichok in March, the BBC reported.

Shapiro, 30, and King have been released from the hospital after testing negative for traces of the poison, Salisbury Hospital announced in a statement.

Authorities evacuated the restaurant as police and experts in protective clothing arrived to investigate, according to The Guardian newspaper.

There have been a number of false alarms since the attack in March but this incident piqued reporters’ interest when an eyewitness described the “poisoned” woman as a Russian national.

But doubts have been cast over Shapiro’s story after she told British newspaper The Sun that she had been directly targeted by Russian President Vladimir Putin for being a critic of his government.

The article, which has since been removed from the paper’s website, ran with the headline, “Putin tried to kill me with rat poison” and declared the incident “Salisbury Attack No. 2.”

The interview raised eyebrows considering the model’s Twitter account is dominated by fitness routines and dieting tips, not the Kremlin’s usual areas of concern. The Sun declined to comment on whether it paid her for the interview.

Meanwhile, husband King, 42, is a convicted criminal who once conned his way into meeting Prince Charles, according to the BBC.

At a film premiere in 2006, King, a Britich citizen, slipped into a lineup of film stars and shook hands with the royal, claiming it was part of a bet, according to the BBC.

Wiltshire police have not commented on whether the incident was a hoax but told ABC News they could not “rule anything in or out” until they spoke to King. Authorities said they are aware of his whereabouts and are due to interview him Thursday.

The town has once again been thrust back into the spotlight, only a week after Russians Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of poisoning the former Russian spy, said they were no more than “tourists” with an interest in Salisbury Cathedral’s “123-meter spire."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Sep202018

South Korean president wraps up 3-day Pyongyang visit

ABC News(SEOUL, South Korea) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in Thursday reaffirmed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s determination to comply with complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, after returning from a three-day summit with Kim in the North.

Although specifics were not included in a joint statement the two released Wednesday, Moon said Thursday he thought Kim would even demolish additional nuclear and missile facilities that already exist if the United States reciprocates in step-by-step stages.

What North Korea wants in return for dismantling the missile engine test site and launchpad in Tongchang-ri and shutting down the Yongbyon nuclear plant is a “political declaration” that war has ended, Moon said. By that, “the U.S. would guarantee regime safety, end hostile policies, then establish a new relationship” between Pyongyang and Washington, Moon told reporters on arrival back to Seoul Thursday.

Moon will now gear up for his voyage to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly next week.

Moon and his wife returned to Seoul Thursday from a three-day trip to the North's capital, Pyongyang. They also Thursday morning visited Mount Baektu, a sacred mountain that borders China and is said to contain the history of ancient Korea.

Moon and his wife spent a lot of time with Kim and his wife during the trip to Mount Baektu, considered the most sacred and symbolic mountain of the Korean nation.

Moon had said repeatedly that it was his longtime dream to trek up Mount Baektu. The South's presidential office announced Wednesday that the two leaders' visiting Mount Paektu represents the "80 million Korean people combined."

Moon left early Wednesday morning from Paekhwawon guest house and was escorted by Kim Yong Nam, head of North Korea's parliament. Tens of thousands of Pyongyang citizens lined the streets, again dressed in colorful national costumes, waving flowers and peninsula flags and North Korean flags high in the air.

Moon Wednesday night gave an emotional speech in front of 150,000 North Korean citizens at Rungrado 1st of May Stadium. It was the first time a South Korean head of state ever addressed North Korean citizens directly.

"I propose to take the next big leap to completely resolve the 70 years of hostility and be together as one again," Moon said. "Chairman Kim and I will rebuild our nation, with 80 million people of the North and South holding hand in hand, standing strong."

The speech came after watching the welcoming Mass Games, which were modified from its original version for the South Korean delegation. The audience, in typical North Korean style, gave a standing ovation.

"President Moon almost cried giving the address in Pyeongyang," Herry J. Kanzianism, director of defense studies at the center for the national interest, said during a specialist discussion session at Seoul Press Center. "He seems sincere in trying to end problems in the Korean peninsula. We need to give him big credit for engaging in such difficult challenge."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep192018

Cody Wilson, owner of 3D-printed gun company, wanted in connection to alleged sexual assault of a minor

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- An arrest warrant has been issued for the founder of a controversial 3D-printed gun company in connection to the alleged sexual assault of a minor, according to Texas authorities.

Suspect Cody Wilson, 30, owns Defense Distributed, which sells blueprints for producing plastic firearms using 3D printers.

The alleged victim, an unnamed 16-year-old girl from Central Texas, according to Austin police, told a counselor she’d had sex with Wilson Aug. 15, 2018, in an Austin hotel before he paid her $500, according to the arrest warrant affidavit filed Wednesday in Travis County District Court.

Austin police said they received a call from the counselor Aug. 22 who reported that a client, a girl under the age of 17, told her she’d had sex with a 30-year-old man a week before.

Police said they were present Aug. 27 when staff from the Center for Child Protection interviewed the alleged victim. The girl said she’d met the man on SugarDaddyMeet.com and that he’d used the screen name “Sanjuro,” according to police.

She said the two exchanged phone numbers and talked via iMessage, police said.

A search of the girl’s cellphone uncovered messages to SugarDaddyMeet.com as well as links to messages from Sanjuro, according to police. And, in one message, Sanjuro identified himself as Cody Wilson, police said.

“Victim said that ‘Sanjuro’ described himself to the victim as a ‘big deal,’” according to the affidavit.

Wilson’s Texas driver’s license picture also matched the “Sanjuro” profile image on SugarDaddyMeet.com, police said.

Wilson and the girl met at a coffee shop Aug. 15 and left together in a black Ford Edge, police said. They said the vehicle was similar to a 2015 black Ford Edge registered with Wilson’s business, Defense Distributed.

Later, valet surveillance video from a hotel recorded Wilson and the girl’s getting out of the car, according to police.

Police said they reviewed hotel surveillance footage “showing the victim and Wilson exiting an elevator onto the seventh floor. … Hotel records showed that Wilson was the lone registered guest for room 718 on that date.”

Wilson sexually assaulted her and then “retrieved five $100.00 bills from a bag on the floor” and gave her the money, the girl told police, according to the affidavit.

Video showed Wilson and her leaving the hotel, the affidavit alleged. He later dropped her off at a Whataburger restaurant, she told authorities.

ABC News' attempts to reach Wilson were unsuccessful.

Wilson is not in custody and his last known location was Taipei, Taiwan, according to Austin police. He missed a scheduled flight back to the U.S. and had left the country before police could interview him, authorities said Wednesday during a news conference.

Austin police said they were working with national and international authorities to locate him.

"We don't know why he went to Taiwan but we do know before he left, he was informed by a friend of the victim that she had spoken to police and police were investigating him," Cmdr. Troy Officer said.

Officer said he was not sure of Wilson's exact return date but the time had passed.

Detectives have spoken with the victim, Officer said, and "in their opinion, if someone mistakes her age, it would be because they think she’s younger, not older, than the 16 year old that she is.”

Police are still investigating, Officer said. Wilson could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, according to ABC Austin affiliate KVUE-TV.

Wilson is a self-described "crypto-anarchist" at the center of a fierce legal battle over whether Americans should be able to print guns that would be unregulated and untraceable.

After Wilson in 2013 successfully fired a bullet from the world’s first 3D-printed handgun and posted its design online, the video got nearly half a million views, and the design was downloaded nearly 100,000 times. After a few days, the link was terminated by law enforcement officials.

Years of litigation followed, leading to a settlement in July allowing Wilson to re-release the gun’s downloadable blueprints, giving anyone with access to a 3D printer the ability to create their own so-called “ghost guns” – unregulated unregistered and untraceable firearms.

Over the summer, a federal judge temporarily stopped him from putting gun blueprints online and in August, a federal judge in Seattle extended the injunction, after a coalition of states and the District of Columbia said making plastic weapons available would create a public safety issue.

Later that month, Wilson said he'd started selling the plans for producing plastic firearms using 3-D printers despite an injunction blocking it because of concerns about public safety.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep192018

Young boy arrested for putting needles in fruit in Australia as police seek other suspects

Joshua Gane via Storyful(NEW YORK) -- A young boy has been arrested for putting sewing needles inside strawberries in New South Wales, Australia.

The boy, whose name has not been disclosed because of his age, confessed to putting the sewing needles in strawberries as a prank and is not believed to be the culprit behind other fruit contaminations in the region, New South Wales police authorities told ABC News.

"What we’ve seen in this state we believe is the work of copycats and pranksters," Stuart Smith, the acting assistant commissioner of the New South Wales police, said in a press conference Wednesday.

The boy is the first person to be arrested since people reported finding sewing needles inside strawberries across Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia last week.

The New South Wales Police Force said in a press release Tuesday that they have received more than 20 reports of contaminated strawberries alone. Contamination of apples and bananas has also been reported, police said in the statement.

Smith said that people deliberately contaminating food can face up to 10 years in prison.

Smith also announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of any individual who contaminates a food source in the area.

"Whether it's done with the intention of prank, whether it's done with the intention of serious harm to another individual, it's no difference," Smith said Wednesday. "They are going to be charged with that offense and they are going to find themselves in front of a court."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep192018

Celebrity chef Salt Bae under fire for serving Venezuela's president one of his famous steaks

Tristar Media/Getty Images(ISTANBUL) -- Celebrity chef Nusret Gokce, better known as "Salt Bae," was torched online after videos of him serving steak to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Turkey went viral on Monday.

Gokce posted three videos on Instagram of Maduro feasting, drinking and smoking a Cuban cigar with his wife, Cilia Flores, at one of Gokce’s restaurants in Istanbul.

Maduro said Monday night on Venezuelan television that the visit took place after a brief stopover in Turkey. Maduro was headed back to Venezuela after visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, who agreed to extend a $5 billion credit line to help alleviate the current economic crisis in the country. China has already provided more than $60 billion in credit to Venezuela in the last decade alone.

“He loves Venezuela,” Maduro said of Gokce.

Gokce became famous in early 2017 when a video of him salting an Ottoman steak in a Swan-like arm position exploded online and became a meme. He has since removed the videos of Maduro from his social media accounts.

Over 1.6 million of Venezuelans have left the country since 2015, fleeing a growing economic crisis that has left the country with food shortages and a hyperinflation that is expected to hit 1,000,000 percent this year.

Gokce declined ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep192018

3 injured when car drives into crowd near London mosque

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- UK police are investigating an attack Wednesday morning near a Muslim community center that injured three men.

A car drove into a crowd of people leaving the North London mosque, with the occupants of the car allegedly shouting Islamophobic taunts, authorities said.

Two men were taken to the hospital for treatment after the incident. One victim, a man in his fifties, suffered “a serious leg injury,” authorities said. A third person did not require hospital treatment.

The incident is not being treated as an act of terrorism, police said.

Four people were allegedly drinking, taking drugs and engaging in “anti-social behavior” at the center's private car park, according to police. Three men and a woman in their mid-twenties allegedly refused to leave when security officials arrived and a confrontation ensued, police said.

The car proceeded to drive off at a high speed.

The Hussaini Association, which had been hosting a religious lecture before the attack, released a statement on Twitter describing the collision as “a suspected premeditated Islamophobic attack” in which people were “indiscriminately mown down.” It claims the drivers of the vehicle were all “of Caucasian origin.”

The organization praised “a number of volunteers [who] bravely stood between the speeding vehicle and patrons heading home. These acts of bravery potentially saved the lives of dozens of innocent people.”

Ali Salman, an eyewitness, told ABC News the attack occurred at “exact time the program finished and everyone was coming out.”

He initially saw a group of people surrounding the car, which was “almost trapped trying to get out.” The car sped away from the group when a security guard smashed one of the windows, he said. Salman then pushed his friend to safety before “the car came full force at us to trying to run us over.”

Local police are investigating the incident. No arrests have yet been made.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep192018

Exclusive: Jailed American makes desperate plea for help in letters to Trump, Pence

Kassem Family(CAIRO) -- After five years in prison and facing 15 more, an American citizen jailed on trumped up charges in Egypt is pleading for his life to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

In two letters sent to the administration, obtained exclusively by ABC News, Mustafa Kassem recounts how he was beaten and arrested after Egyptian security officials discovered his U.S. passport amid a mass crackdown on opposition -- and how he has started a hunger strike "because I am losing my will and don't know how else to get your attention."

A 53-year-old diabetic, his family has urged him to stop, and his lawyer tells ABC News that his health is failing. He appeared very frail and weak during a visit Sunday, with his hands visibly shaking and his blood sugar dropping to a dangerously low level.

But Kassem writes that while he knows "full well that I may not survive," he has no choice.

"I want my children to know that I fought tooth and nail for my freedom. I want them to know America is great because our government will fight tooth and nail for its citizens," he wrote in the letter addressed to Pence. Both are dated Sept. 12 and were sent to the White House on Sept. 13, according to his lawyer.

A New York City taxicab driver, Kassem started his hunger strike last week after being convicted of trying to overthrow the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi and sentenced to 15 years in jail in a mass trial with more than 700 co-defendants.

Praveen Madhiraju, executive director of Pretrial Rights International and one of Kassem's lawyers, has called the charges against his client "bogus," adding that he's "an innocent American" and the situation is a "disgrace."

Kassem was in Egypt in August 2013 visiting his wife and two children, then 3 and 6 years old. It was a particularly volatile moment in Egypt's recent history -- one month after the military seized power following days of protests against the democratically elected government of Mohamed Morsi.

In Morsi's place, then-General Sisi took control, implementing a crackdown on political opposition and civil society that has since expanded. About 20 Americans currently are in Egyptian jails, but there are as many as 60,000 political prisoners across Egypt, according to a Human Rights Watch report last year.

On Aug. 14, 2013 -- the night before Kassem was set to return to the U.S. -- he went out to exchange some money and shop when security officials detained him and his brother-in-law, accusing them of participating in protests against the military takeover in a nearby square. The military was cracking down on the demonstrations in what human rights groups say was the single deadliest incident in Sisi's sweep to power, with as many as 800 killed.

While his brother-in-law was released, Kassem was accused of being an American spy because of his U.S. passport.

"Although the beatings eventually stopped, these prisons and their guards did they best to wear me down for more than five years," he wrote to Trump.

In Egyptian jails, he has been denied regular access to medical treatment, including insulin, his lawyers said, leading to dangerous drops in blood sugar like the one this past week. Multiple requests by his family to have him hospitalized have been denied or simply ignored by Egyptian authorities, but he has been moved to solitary confinement to monitor his health.

Still, now that he is on hunger strike, his family worries he is running out of time.

"My brother is dying slowly. He is giving up hope," his sister, Iman Kassem, told ABC News in a statement.

Kassem's case has been followed by the Trump administration, with Pence saying he raised it directly with Sisi when the two met in Cairo in January. In his letter to Pence, Kassem thanks him for those words, calling them "little rays of light" and hope that "my government still cared for me."

"But since January, I have seen no change and little action from either the Egyptian government or our government," he wrote to Pence. "I am losing hope that you and our government are willing to take a hard stance and secure my freedom."

"Mr. Pence, I need your help. You once spoke for me. I now beg you to fight for me," he concludes.

Both letters were transcribed by a family member because Kassem was too weak to write them out himself, according to his family. He could sign his name to both, and his signature was verified by ABC News using previous legal documents.

The White House did not respond to questions Tuesday, including whether it had received the letters or if would raise Kassem's case directly with Sisi, whom Trump may meet next week during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Madhiraju, Kassem's lawyer, said they also did not hear back from the White House or Pence's office.

The State Department has said the U.S. is "deeply concerned about his conviction and his sentencing. ... His case has been raised repeatedly with the Egyptian Government," according to spokesperson Heather Nauert. Officials from the U.S. embassy have conducted consular visits with him to check on his condition.

The Trump administration has been accused of going soft on Egypt, especially in recent weeks, even as Kassem and more than 700 "co-defendants" were sentenced en masse on Sept. 8 for the August 2013 protest. Seventy-five people received the death penalty, and more than 600 were sentenced to prison, including Kassem and the award-winning Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, also known as Shawkan, who was covering the protests.

After withholding $195 million in aid to Egypt over human rights concerns in 2017, the State Department announced in July it was releasing that money "in the spirit of our efforts to further strengthen this partnership," an official told ABC News.

Just this week, the administration announced it had approved the possible sale of $99 million worth of tank rounds to Egypt, calling it a "friendly country" and "important strategic partner."

Annually, the U.S. typically provides Egypt with more than a billion dollars in aid and military assistance. That billion-dollar package is one reason Kassem said he believes "my government has slowly abandoned me."

But Trump's tight bond and warm words with the strongman Sisi have yielded some results, too.

In April 2017, Egypt freed Aya Hijazi, a U.S. citizen and humanitarian aid worker, her husband Mohamed Hassanein and four others after Trump and top aides urged Sisi to do so as a goodwill gesture. Afterward, Hijazi met Trump in the Oval Office, which he called a "great honor."

Kassem wrote to Trump that he has been left praying for a similar reception: "I pray that you have a plan for me. I have seen you defend other jailed Americans. I ask you -- why not me?"

His family said they have lost their patience.

"His life is in danger because he showed his American passport, but President Trump has done nothing about it and Vice President Pence has not done enough," his sister, Iman, told ABC News. "They know about Mustafa's condition, and they can save him. They are as responsible for his life as anyone else."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep192018

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader, steps further into spotlight at inter-Korean summit

Korea Summit Press Pool/Getty Images(PYONGYANG, North Korea) -- Behind the scenes of Pyongyang’s grand welcome ceremony for a South Korean delegation Tuesday was the mysterious Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

Kim Yo Jong was the watch commander of the greeting event, caught on camera running around the red-carpeted airstrip in Sunan International Airport making sure everyone knew their path. Sitting beside Kim Jong Un during the first round of inter-Korean talks in the three-day summit, she made her presence known as his trusted confidante.

Widely known as Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong was appointed the first vice department director of the central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea this February. Before that, she was named vice director of the Workers' Party's Propaganda and Agitation Department, according to CNN.

Kim Yo Jong roamed around Tuesday's events in a black two-piece suit, stealing the show on the live broadcast screen in Seoul's press center for inter-Korean summit. Nearly 3,000 journalists watched her giving directions to South Korean President Moon Jae-in himself as the two Korean leaders stood on stage facing North Korean honor guards. She stood only a few steps behind the first couples, closely engaged the whole time.

"Kim Yo Jong is practically Kim Jong Un's political partner and right hand," Han-Bum Cho, senior research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification, told ABC News. "She takes the role of his political comrade by being the chief secretary, chief presidential secretary and policy director She is the only person that Kim trusts."

Kim Yo Jong first caught the public's attention as part of North Korea's delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February, and as the North Korean leader’s special envoy to deliver his letter to Moon.

Since then she has been part of every landmark moment in inter-Korean relations. Not only did she attend the first inter-Korean summit in April at the border village of Panmunjom, she also played her role as Kim Jong Un's shadow during the historic U.S.-DPRK summit in Singapore in June.

"Kim Yo Jong is an authority figure," Philo Kim, an associate professor at the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University, told ABC News. "She is the one who can speak frankly to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, not only as a high official of North Korea’s ruling party, but also as a family member."

Standing by her brother's side as he and Moon signed a denuclearization agreement Wednesday, Kim Jong Un would only use the pen Kim Yo Jong handed him to sign the joint statements.

Kim Yo Jong shares with Kim Jong Un the Baektu bloodline that flows from late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, which they say legitimizes the Kim dynasty’s regime. They both have the same mother, Ko Yong Hui.

While Kim Jong Un said Wednesday he plans to visit Seoul, his sister was the first member of the Kim family dynasty to step foot on South Korean soil when she arrived ahead of the Olympics.

She is also known to have accompanied the North Korean leader in his overseas studies in Switzerland.

During Tuesday's two-hour closed-door meeting with Moon, the golden sister sat to the left of Kim Jong Un, proving her position as an influential figure in the Worker’s Party of Korea.

On the right was Kim Yong Chol, the vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party of North Korea, who has kept his spot during every important summit talk Kim Jong Un has held. He also visited the White House earlier this year as the U.S. and North Korea prepared for June's historic summit. Moon sat with Chung Eui-yong, South Korea's top security adviser, and National Intelligence Chief Suh Hoon.

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