welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: chinese state media confirms north korea's leader kimjong—un did travel to beijing this week for talks with president xi jinping. nato expels seven russian diplomats over the spy—poisoning in britain. moscow calls it part of a western policy to contain russia. president putin calls a national day of mourning for victims of the shopping centre fire and blames criminal negligence. angry crowds denounce local officials. and the mona lisa may be allowed to go on tour. the first time it's left the louvre in almost half a century. that breaking news in the past few
hours has now been confirmed. chinese state media has now confirmed the ruler of north korea has made his first foreign trip as leaderfor talks in beijing with china's president xi jinping. there's been much speculation that kim jong—un was on his first trip abroad in seven years, since a special train used in the past by the north korean ruling dynasty was spotted in the chinese capital. the white house says mr trump has been briefed on the visit, in a personal message from the chinese president. our correspondent steve mcdonell has more details. world, the worst kept secret in china has been confirmed, yes, it has been kim jong—un all along. people who have been following this in recent days know that reporters have been following this mysterious medicaid around beijing. there was the train that pulled up at beijing station which looked uncannily like the drain that had taken former north korean leaders to beijing ——
train. it has been confirmed that it was backed him. this was first confirmed international trip from the north korean leader since he came to power. it is interesting and kind of bizarre that chinese official state media waited until his train had left chinese territorian and gone back into north korea before confirming that any obvious took place —— territory. he went to the great hall of the people, met xijinping. there went to the great hall of the people, met xi jinping. there was a performance that, we are led to believe. he met other senior members of the chinese communist party. pretty historic meeting, really, given developments on the korean peninsula. and it has been confirmed. stephen donald is there.
drjohn park is director of the korea working group at the harvard kennedy school gave his reaction to this meeting. this is the first time that kim jong—un has left north korea. from that lends this is an historic meeting. in terms of what took place this is what we are piecing together in terms of significance. we have to keepin in terms of significance. we have to keep in mind that when the chinese meet with de sena level official in this capacity, it is a done deal —— with a senior level official. there are things that have been done in terms of that transaction. looking at how this all played out, we are basically in freefall right now. this has taken everyone by surprise. with the summit proposed in may between the north korean leader and president trump and south korea's president trump and south korea's president moon, it would have been diplomatically very odd if kim jong—un had met with them before meeting his main ally. in many respects, the summit announcement the careers and president trump and
kimjong—un, the careers and president trump and kim jong—un, those happened the careers and president trump and kimjong—un, those happened very quickly in the sense that we saw a loss of the statements rather than the process in place. what we know of the chinese style of this type of summits, that is the end of a mini process in itself. we can expect some big announcements coming out about some sort of freeze or resumption of the six party talks. these are the types of conditions that the chinese would put on any meeting with kim jong—un at this level is quite we are told by chinese state media was a banquet. we are told that kim jong—un talked about denuclearisation. he means nuclear weapons off the korean peninsula. for the united states, thatis peninsula. for the united states, that is quite a different matter. that is correct. if you look from the chinese set point as well, the denuclearisation of the korean peninsula is a long—standing goal. notjust of north korea.
denuclearisation is aspirational. this is a goal that the parties will work towards. that was a big emphasis of the six party talks. the goal of denuclearisation is common to all parties. the pace in expectation of when that happens, thatis expectation of when that happens, that is where the differences lie. that is where high—level meetings will be important. in the latest diplomatic response to the chemical attack in salisbury, nato has expelled seven russian diplomats from its headquarters in brussels. 25 countries have now taken similar action, expelling at least 140 diplomats in total. russia's foreign minister sergei lavrov has said moscow will respond in kind. steve rosenberg reports. it looks like a game show, but this was russian tv on the diplomatic war with the west. the names in the frames, the string of countries who had expelled russian diplomats over the salisbury attack. 26 countries have now ordered expulsions. moscow's point is that the west has got it in for russia. this is not about poisoning some former agents.
this is about containing russia, creating problems for russia with its sovereign and independent foreign policy. and could a diplomatic war morph into something more dangerous? this confrontation has certain logic, and this logic is to step up — each next move should be stronger than the previous one. and with this, we can reach a pretty dangerous situation where militarisation of behaviour will be inevitable. the one expression you hear more and more to describe the growing tension between russia and the west is "new cold war". but in fact what we have now is potentially more dangerous than the cold war, because back in the days of communism against capitalism, both sides stuck to the rules of the game. today, it seems, there are no rules.
sergei skripal and his daughter yulia are still in a critical, but stable condition in a british hospital. up to now, their relatives in russia have said very little about the incident, but now in her first tv interview mr skripal‘s niece, viktoria, has told olga ivshina, from the bbc russian service, that she's not interested in the political war of words. president putin has declared a national day of mourning for the 64 people who died died in a fire at a shopping centre in siberia on sunday. most were children. people in the city of kemerovo have been protesting as mr putin blamed what he called "criminal negligence" and suggested safety certificates had been obtained with bribes. paul adams reports. grief turning to fury on the streets of the siberian mining town. two days after the fire, people are angry. "resign, resign," they shout. local officials are bombarded with questions — how many people really died, were children locked inside, why were the fire
alarms not working? the crowd smells corruption. the sign above the mayor's assistant reads, "how much are your closed eyes worth?" translation: i've got nothing more to lose, my whole family has died, my younger sister, my wife, and my three children. my wife rang me quite late, shejust wanted to say goodbye to me. inside what's left of the shopping complex, a scene of utter devastation. this place was packed on sunday. when the fire broke out, it swept through the building with appalling speed. on one of the upper floors, the cinema, where many of the children died. the man leading the investigation says those responsible for safety simply run away. the view from above is equally shocking. is there evidence here that corners were cut? vladimir putin visited the city this morning,
offering condolences, saying what happened was inexcusable. translation: an investigation group of 100 people is working here. they will go through the whole chain, starting with those who issued licenses and up to those who were responsible for safety. in moscow this evening, a silent vigil for the victims, the people here promising not to forget what happened in siberia two days ago. what began as a local tragedy now has the potential to turn into a national scandal. fires like this are not uncommon in russia, and behind them there's often a story of corruption, fast money and lax oversight. this disaster raises a host difficult questions. pauladams, bbc news, moscow. sergei goryashko from the bbc russian service told me that a number of people are still unaccounted for following the fire. still some people who were at the shopping centre are among the list of missing.
and not all the bodies of those who died in this awful inferno are identified. so they are still in hospital. the identification and will require genetic expertise. yesterday was a big rally in keremovo. it lasted for 11 hours, and there were people who were against the local government, who, in their opinion, were responsible for the tragedy. well, and that is exactly what we have for now. united nations officials are saying they are very concerned about up to 80,000 people still believed trapped in the syrian town of douma in eastern ghouta. government forces have threatened to resume their bombardment. thousands of other civilians and fighters have been evacuated. caroline rigby reports.
a tearful goodbye. finally escaping eastern goutha, an area caught up in the conflict since 2013. and the focus of a ferocious assault in recent weeks by government troops, backed by russia and loyalist militia. thousands of rebel fighters, their families, and civilians are being bussed out to the north, after an evacuation deal brokered by russia was reached between the two rebel groups and the syrian regime. translation: the regime made us displaced following torture, shelling, seach, and starvation. there was no medical aid, no food, no water. we are living an impossible life. but the united nations warns many residents have been left behind. pro—government forces now control around 90% of eastern goutha, and enclave on the
outskirts of damascus. only a small pocket, containing the town of douma, remains in rebel hands. now the syrian regime has reportedly threatened to resume its bombardment, if the rebels there don't except an evacuation deal. the un says it is highly concerned about up un says it is highly concerned about up to 80,000 people thought to be trapped there. the international committee of the red cross wants the situation is dire. they lack of food and water the ever—increasing threat of disease. military operations, air strikes in particular, in eastern goutha, reportedly killed more than 1700 people. thousands more were injured. attacks on critical civilian infrastructure, like medical facilities, civilian infrastructure, like medicalfacilities, continue to be reported. the un says at standing by with food and aid supplies, should get the all clear from the government. devastating strikes and artillery fire have already reduced
large parts of goutha to ruins. meanwhile, government forces are reported to be massing around douma. the rebel group, daesh al islam, has yet to agree terms of the surrender. the syrian military says it has until the end of the week to do so. caroline rigby, bbc news. let there be no more wars or bloodshed between arabs and israelis. with great regret, the committee have decided that south africa
should be excluded from the 1970 competition. streaking across the sky, the white—hot wreckage from mir drew gasps from onlookers on fiji. woman: wow! this is bbc news. the latest headlines: chinese state media has revealed that the north korean leader, kimjong—un, and his wife did have talks with his chinese counterpart xijinping in beijing this week. nato is expelling seven russian diplomats from its headquarters.
the latest international sanctions in response to the nerve agent attack in the uk. let's get more on that story now. jeff mankoff is deputy director and senior fellow with the centre for strategic and international studies russia and eurasia programme. he's in washington. what everybody is wondering is, what happens next, how dangerous could all this get? certainly there is a risk of escalation that part of the message the west was trying to send to russia with these co—ordinated each ocean is that russia would not bea each ocean is that russia would not be a will to pick the western coalition apart, it would be taking on all of the countries that participated in these expulsions and that sends a strong signal that any further steps to escalate the blusher may take our dangerous. at this point we will see some heated rhetoric over the longer term.
this point we will see some heated rhetoric over the longer termlj guess as you'd expect, there are still some strong russian attempts to divide. are they asking which consulates they would like to see shutdown? you have to give the russian foreign ministry credit for its facility with social media. the poll that talking about, which american consulate should be shut down in response to the closure of the russian consulate in seattle. typical rush expected this? did it overreach? they didn't expect this level of response. we have seen expulsions before. the expulsions carried out by the british government was in line with the kind of response you would expect. the russians were able to follow that up bya russians were able to follow that up by a tit—for—tat expulsion and kicking at the british council but
when you go to the next level where you have a number of countries responding in this co—ordinated way, and you have the united states despite the rhetoric we've heard from the trump administration, and their congratulations that trump gave to president putin recently, responding by kicking out 60 russian diplomats enclosing a consulate, that was a bit beyond what the russian government expected. with all your experience and studies in the field, was russia behind the nerve agent tak and salusbury? the agent involved is too sophisticated and specific to have had any other origin. that said, there is a question that is not going to be used to answer as to whether this was a hit order from the top, it putin and the kremlin itself were responsible directly work they set the framework about going after
traders and people lower down the hierarchy, deciding to take the initiative on their own. thank you very much indeed. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news: fire chiefs have apologised for their response to the suicide bombing at the manchester arena last year. an independent report has found firefighters were kept away from the scene for two hours, because of poor communication between emergency services. the boss of larry nasser, the disgraced doctor at the centre of the usa gymnastics sex abuse scandal, has himself been charged with criminal sexual conduct. prosecutors allege the former dean of michigan state university, william strampel, assaulted female students, and stored nude photos of others on his office computer. through his lawyer, he's denied doing anything wrong. the israeli prime minister has been released from hospital. doctors found he was suffering from a mild respiratory infection. benjamin neta nyahu tweeted: "i am on my way home, sure some rest and hot soup will put things right."
he's 68 — he'd been taken to hospital with a high fever and coughing. the final shots of the falkland war rang out more than 35 years ago. and since then, the remains of more than 100 argentine soldiers who weren't identified, have been marked with plaques that read simply "known only to god". but no longer. two years ago the argentine and british governments agreed to try to identify the remains. they succeeded for most of them, and on monday family members and loved ones were finally able to pay their respects. the bbc was there. translation: it was a very emotional day. i came here before and he was unidentified. i have looked forward to this moment for so long. since the falklands war ended in
june of 1982, 121 argentinian soldiers have remained unidentified at the cemetery. now after dna testing, 90 bodies have been named. this is the first time argentinian families have been able to visit the graves of their loved ones. translation: it was basically uncertainty because at first, they told us that he was disappeared and then some people told us to that he was in different places. on the one hand, iam was in different places. on the one hand, i am very happy under on the other, i am sad that list i know where he is now. at least we found him. translation: it's the fifth time that i come here to the island but this time, it's absolutely different. i knew where he was falle n different. i knew where he was fallen but now i know where he is
delayed and it is a very, very difficult process for sure but i definitely feel peace today. dna tests were possible because of the former british captain. at the end of the war, geoffrey cardoso carefully buried and mapped their bodies. it's given me enormous pleasure plus a tinge of sadness as well. these families have waited for 35 years with enormous patience and courage. it will certainly help bring closure to their grief that they will never forget what happened. obviously, if you lose a child. but it will help them now to manage their grief. the louvre museum in paris may allow its most treasured painting, the mona lisa, to go on tour in france — the first time it's left the building in almost half a century. da vinci's masterpiece has officially travelled abroad twice before — to japan and to the usa, for two exhibitions in 1963. a new edition of the history of that trip, the mona lisa in camelot,
has just been published. jane o'brien went to find out more, at the national gallery of art in washington. the immortal masterpiece of leonardo da vinci — mona lisa — or la gioconda — is now in america... it was the cultural coup of a century. the mona lisa arrived in new york harbour after a perilous voyage across the atlantic, amid serious misgivings from many art experts, not to mention, the french public. in american capital, the mona lisa will be the artistic attraction of all time. they have insured it for an estimated $100 million... the visit by the world's most famous painting was made possible by the world's most famous woman at the time. the first lady, jackie kennedy. this was 88 days that changed america and onlyjackie kennedy could have pulled it off. two million people lined up in long, snaking lines both at the national gallery and at the metropolitan museum of art.
imagine, some of them had never stepped foot into a museum before. the mona lisa taken under police escort straight to the national gallery of art in washington and placed in a vault. experts had just a few weeks to recreate the humidity of the louvre before she was put on display. one million ordinary americans lined up outside the national gallery to see the mona lisa for themselves and injanuary 1963 it was the who's who of washington. this is where she was? this was the exact spot. she was hung against the most dramatic, red velvet baffle. it took mrs kennedy more than a year to secure it and was almost entirely due to the charm offensive she deployed against this man, the french culture minister — andre malraux. she met him in paris, invited him to dinner at the white house and there, clinched the deal. she is leaning very close to his shoulder, tucked up
under his ear, and minister malraux whispers her pledge that will make history. he said "i will loan you one of our great artistic treasures. i will loan you the mona lisa." the mona lisa established the national gallery's international reputation and created a new awareness of art as a tool for diplomacy. mr minister, we in the united states are grateful for this loan from the leading artistic power in the world, france. from washington, the mona lisa travelled to new york, where a million more people stood in line to see her. the visit was a milestone in the history of art, an event that even today has been hard to equal. jane o'brien, bbc news, washington. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter — i'm @bbcmikeembley. temperatures on the way
down in the lead—up to the easter weekend. low pressure close by. so it's looking unsettled. some rain around in the day ahead from this first area of low pressure, has been some uncertainty about how far north the wet weather is going to get. still a little bit about that. south wales, southern england most likely to see some wet weather, but it may push further north to parts of wales and the midlands into east anglia as the day goes on, getting some showers, a chance of a bit of sleet and wet snow out of this, especially on the hills into the west of these areas as we go through the afternoon. much of northern england, northern ireland and scotland will have variable cloud, sunny spells and a few showers around, wintry on hills, longer spells of rain in the northern islands into shetland. single figure temperatures. that's the big difference across southern parts of the uk compared with tuesday. some spots reached as high as 16 celsius. the chill will be around
on wednesday night under clearing skies, most of the showers still around on wednesday evening will die away and that means clear skies will be widespread frost settling going into thursday morning. it does mean is thursday begins it will be chilly, but there will be a fair amount of sunshine around, but then we are watching another area of low pressure coming in from the south—west. a bit slower, but it will at least have some showers, some longer spells of rain but at least showers pushing into south—west england, wales and to parts of northern ireland too. gradually on thursday, edging a little bit further north—east. ahead of that, you are likely to see some dry weather and some sunshine of a fairly pleasant day. there is a weather front working in northern scotland with outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow around here, it'll feel quite cold. a little bit milder, those eastern areas have seen the sunshine during thursday and those heavy showers wales and the south—west edging into the midlands, parts of south—east england, continuing to feed northwards during thursday night into good friday. low pressure very much in evidence during good friday. there will be bands
of showers pushing north across the uk but there will be gaps between them, we might get to see some sunshine, but for the most part it's single figure temperatures. that is how we are going into the easter weekend. temperatures on the cool side of average. not cold, but cool for the time of year. it is low pressure so there will be wet weather at times, a risk of snow on northern hills, but it won't be wet all the time. there will be drier, sunny moments, quite pleasant in the spring sunshine. easter day looking like a decent day on sunday. this is bbc news. the headlines: china has revealed that the north korean leader, kim jong—un, did travel in a special train for talks with china's president xijingping in beijing this week. it's his first known foreign trip since he assumed power seven years ago. china's state news agency reports mr kim said his government is committed to denuclearisation, of the entire peninsular, notjust the north. in the latest diplomatic response
to the nerve agent attack on a former russian spy living in the uk, nato has expelled seven russian diplomats from its headquarters in brussels. 25 countries have now taken similar action. russia's foreign minister, sergei lavrov, has said moscow will respond in kind. russia's president, vladimir putin, has declared a national day of mourning for the 64 people killed in a fire at a shopping centre in siberia on sunday. people in kemerovo have been protesting over what mr putin called criminal negligence. it used to be that british homeowners would move house several times during their lifetime. but that has all changed, according to new research,