G8's warning to North Korea

G8 foreign ministers meeting in London have urged North Korea to refrain from any more provocative acts.

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North Korea set to top agenda at G8 talks in London

Foreign ministers from the G8 are holding talks in London today with crises in Syria and Korea set to be high on the agenda.

William Hague is hosting counterparts from the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) visits a military unit on an island in the most southwest of Pyongyang. Credit: REUTERS/KCNA

The meeting comes amid fears that tensions between North Korea and South Korea could lead to a violent confrontation.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov is also expected to come under pressure over Moscow's support for Bashar Assad's regime in Syria.

Other topics covered are likely to include Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The discussions are laying the foundations for the full G8 summit due to take place in Northern Ireland in June.

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Kerry joins Hague for lunch with Syrian opposition

John Kerry will hold private talks with the Russian foreign minister to discuss the Syrian civil war. Credit: Twitter/@WilliamJHague

Foreign Secretary William Hague and US Secretary of State John Kerry are lunching in London with their French counterpart Laurent Fabius and Syrian opposition figures to discuss the civil war.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, whose country has backed President Assad, will stay away before joining up with his G8 colleagues later to discuss the issue.

There was no sign Russia will relent in its long-standing opposition to any UN Security Council move that would increase pressure on Assad.

Mr Lavrov is expected to discuss Syria with Mr Kerry in a one-on-one meeting though.

Syrian jihadists pledge formal allegiance to al-Qaeda

The group pledged allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahri, who served as an adviser to Osama bin Laden before succeeding him as al Qaeda leader. Credit: REUTERS/Hamid Mir

Syria's al-Nusra Front, a prominent opposition group fighting President Assad, has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, according to an audio tape posted online.

Abu Mohammad al-Golani, leader of the Syrian group, said: "The sons of Nusra Front renew their pledge (of allegiance) to the Sheikh of Jihad Ayman al-Zawahri and declare obedience."

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Hague: We cannot watch Syria 'humanitarian catastrophe'

The situation in Syria is set to dominate G8 talks in London today and leaders of the Syrian National Coalition will be present at the meeting, the Foreign Secretary has said.

William Hague, his French counterpart Laurent Fabius and US Secretary of State John Kerry are expected to hold talks with the civilian opposition figures.

Foreign Secretary William Hague and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Credit: Chris Melzer

On Tuesday, Mr Hague said: "I will be joining and convening some of those meetings to discuss the urgent humanitarian needs and the urgent need for a political and diplomatic breakthrough on Syria".

"This is turning into the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century so far, and we cannot watch this happen.

"We certainly believe that it's necessary to continue, if the situation continues to deteriorate, to increase the practical help we give to the Syrian opposition".

G8 foreign ministers to discuss Syria and North Korea

G8 foreign ministers will meet in London today to discuss efforts to help the Syrian opposition against President Bashar al-Assad and end a devastating civil war.

Responding to threats from North Korea of an imminent conflict with its neighbour South Korea will also be high on the agenda.

US Secretary of State John Kerry will be representing the US at the meeting.

The Group of Eight nations are United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia.

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