VIENTIANE, Laos, Mar 10 (NNN-KPL) – The Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, will attempt to destroy the eggs laid by yellow-spined bamboo locusts, in the northern provinces, after eggs were found in 906 places in 553 villages, officials said. The issue was discussed at a ministry meeting, held in the Laosian capital, Vientiane, to summarise the work plan, to prevent a repeat plague of locusts before their eggs hatched, local media reported today. Director General of the ministry’s Department of Agriculture, Vilaysouk Khennavong, reported the findings of a survey, conducted at the end of last year. Locust eggs were found in 906 places in the five provinces of Luang Prabang, Huaphan, Phongsaly, Xieng Khuang and Oudomxay. “We will soon start to destroy these eggs to ward off another outbreak of yellow-spined bamboo locusts,” local daily Vientiane Times quoted Vilaysouk as saying. “In 2017, some 13,776 hectares of crops in these provinces were affected by locusts, of which 270 hectares were damaged. In 2016, locusts invaded 10,388 hectares of crops and 4,129 hectares were damaged,” the director general said. “We can protect 13,506 hectares of farmers’ crops worth at least 53 billion kip (some 6.4 million U.S. dollars). Most of these crops are rice, sweetcorn, Job’s tear, and grass grown to feed livestock.” Authorities have received cooperation, technical assistance, equipment and funding from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and from the Chinese government, to help control the locust outbreaks, said the report.– NNN-KPL

The parties’ legitimate security concerns, including those of the DPRK, can be addressed in exchange for and in tandem with progress towards denuclearization, said China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

This is China’s long-standing position and also the vision set forth in the relevant Security Council resolutions.

On 8 March 2018, the First Session of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress held a press conference in Beijing, China. Foreign Minister Wang Yi answered questions on China’s foreign policy and external relations.

Seizing the opportunity of the PyeongChang Olympics, the DPRK and the ROK have had a succession of interactions and achieved a rapid thaw in their relations, reversing the long-standing chill on the Korean Peninsula, according to the Chinese minister.

The recent developments may seem baffling to some people, but are actually within the bounds of reason. During the Winter Games, the DPRK did not conduct any nuclear test and the US and the ROK suspended their joint exercises targeting the DPRK. This proves that China’s suspension for suspension proposal was the right prescription for the problem and created basic conditions for the improvement of inter-Korean relations, said Wang Yi.

He said that the Korean Peninsula issue had finally taken an important step in the right direction and China fully commended and supported the efforts made by the two Koreas.

To return the Peninsula to peace and stability and the nuclear issue to the track of dialogue, these initial steps must be followed up by corresponding and concerted efforts by the parties. To this end, we call on the parties, particularly the US and the DPRK, to engage in dialogue sooner rather than later, said Mr Wang Yi.

China has encouraged all parties to follow the dual-track approach of remaining committed to the goal of denuclearization and working actively to establish a peace mechanism on the Peninsula.

Of course, it takes more than one cold day to freeze three feet of ice. Despite light at the end of the tunnel, the journey ahead won’t be smooth. History has reminded us time and again that whenever tensions subsided on the Peninsula, the situation would be clouded by various interferences, said the Chinese minister.

Now is a crucial moment for testing the sincerity of the parties. Every effort must be made for peace, and the opportunity must be seized. It falls to all parties to bear in mind the imperative of peace and the well-being of people in the region, said Mr Wang Yi.

All must demonstrate political courage and make a political decision to expeditiously carry out all necessary and useful engagements, both bilateral and plurilateral, and to do their best to restart dialogue and negotiation for the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue. China will continue to make unremitting efforts for this outcome, added Mr Wang Yi.

Source: Lao News Agency