Kim up for it

News in Brief

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is ready to enter negotiations over his country’s nuclear weapons without any preconditions, announced former US president Jimmy Carter after a three-day visit to Pyongyang at the end of April. “The sticking point, and it’s a big one, is that they won’t give up their nuclear programme without some kind of security guarantee from the US,” wrote Carter, who was accompanied by three fellow “Elders”: former president of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari; former prime minister of Norway, Dr Gro Brundtland; and former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson.