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US President Donald Trump Not Declaring Emergency ‘Right Now’

The shutdown has crippled roughly 25 percent of federal agencies and departments and roughly 800,000 public employees are on furlough or working without pay

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Trump not declaring emergency 'right now'. VOA

US President Donald Trump has said that he has no immediate plans to resort to a national-emergency declaration to build a wall on the border with Mexico, the issue behind a partial government shutdown now in its 21st day.

“What we’re not looking to do right now is a national emergency,” he said during a White House roundtable on border security on Friday.

“I’m not going to do it so fast,” Trump was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

Donald Trump has said more than once in recent days that he would “probably” declare a national emergency, which would allow him to tap Pentagon funds for construction of a wall to resolve what he claims is a crisis on the border.

The Republican president demands that Congress provide $5.7 billion in funds for the wall as a condition for his agreeing to sign a spending bill that would allow affected federal government departments to resume normal operations.

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Donald Trump. VOA

Democrats, who now control the House of Representatives, say they are prepared to appropriate $1.3 billion for border security, including enhancements to existing fences, but will not pay for construction of a new barrier.

While some prominent Republicans have endorsed the idea of the emergency declaration, other GOP lawmakers remain uneasy.

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“We want Congress to do its job,” Donald Trump said Friday, at the same time he called on Democratic legislators to return to Washington.

Most senators and House members from both parties have already left Washington for the weekend.

The shutdown has crippled roughly 25 percent of federal agencies and departments and roughly 800,000 public employees are on furlough or working without pay. (IANS)

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Things Are Going Very Well With North Korea: U.S. President Donald Trump

The White House announced after talks between Trump and Kim on Friday that the U.S. president would hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

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President Donald Trump shakes hands with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief, after their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, June 1, 2018. The two also met for talks in Washington (VOA)

U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that he had an “incredible” meeting with North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Yong Chol and the two sides had made “a lot of progress” on denuclearization.

The White House announced after talks between Trump and Kim on Friday that the U.S. president would hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February, but would maintain economic sanctions on Pyongyang.

“That was an incredible meeting,” Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said of the talks. “We’ve agreed to meet sometime, probably the end of February. We’ve picked a country but we’ll be announcing it in the future. Kim Jong Un is looking very forward to it and so am I.

“We have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearization is concerned and we are talking about a lot of different things. Things are going very well with North Korea.”

Trump and the White House have given no details of the talks, and despite his upbeat comments there has been no indication of any narrowing of differences over U.S. demands that North Korea abandon a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States and Pyongyang’s demands for a lifting of punishing sanctions.

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U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands after signing documents during a summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore, June 12, 2018. (VOA)

June summit

A summit in June in Singapore — the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader — produced a vague commitment by Kim Jong Un to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but he has yet to take what Washington sees as concrete steps in that direction.

Critics of U.S. efforts said the first summit did little more than boost Kim’s international stature.

Trump did not elaborate on the country chosen to host the summit, but Vietnam has been considered a leading candidate.

Kim Yong Chol, regarded as a member of Kim Jong Un’s inner circle, also had talks on Friday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. special representative on North Korea, Stephen Biegun.

The State Department said the two sides had “a productive first meeting at the working level” and Biegun would travel to Sweden at the weekend to attend an international conference.

Also Read: U.S. President Donald Trump To Address The Nation Regarding The Shutdown

The conference is also being attended by North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui. Washington has been keen to set up talks between Biegun and Choe but North Korea has resisted, apparently wanting to keep exchanges high-level.

Asked if the two would meet in Stockholm, a State Department spokeswoman said: “We have no meetings to announce.” (VOA)