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The U.S. Will End War Games, But N. Korean Sanctions Will Remain

Trump's statement came after he signed an agreement with North Korean leader

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The U.S. Will End War Games, But N. Korea Sanctions Will Remain
The U.S. Will End War Games, But N. Korea Sanctions Will Remain, flickr
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The US will end its joint military exercises with South Korea, but sanctions on Pyongyang will remain in place, President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday.

Trump’s statement came after he signed an agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un which included a pledge to work towards a “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”.

The US leader said he believed his North Korean counterpart would live up to the agreement. But “in the meantime the sanctions will remain in effect”.

He said he would push for North Korea to denuclearize as “fast as it can mechanically” but added it could take a long time. “Scientifically you have to wait certain periods of time… But once you start the process, it means it’s pretty much over.”

Trump said the process would start “very soon” and added sanctions would be removed “when we are sure the nukes are no longer a factor”.

He also said he would stop the joint military exercises with South Korea, which North Korea describes as a “preparation for war”. The President also described the military exercises as “too expensive”.

Trump said he hopes to eventually withdraw US forces from South Korea, but said “that’s not part of the equation right now.

“I want to get our soldiers out. I want to bring our soldiers back home… But that’s not part of the equation right now. I hope it will be eventually.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses for pictures with female pilots
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses for pictures with female pilots, flickr

Trump said he had agreed to stop the “war games” because he considers them “very provocative” and said it would save the US “a tremendous amount of money”.

“We’ve done exercises for a long period of time, working with South Korea… They’re tremendously expensive. South Korea contributes but not 100 per cent. We have to talk to many countries about treating us fairly. The war games are very expensive, we pay for a big majority of them.”

He added: “We’re negotiating a very complicated deal… I think it’s inappropriate to have war games.”

Trump said the summit marked a “great moment in the history of the world” and stressed that denuclearization would be verifiable by international and US experts.

The leaders have agreed to have follow-on negotiations led by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a senior North Korean official.

Trump said he had invited Kim to visit the White House at “the appropriate time” and that the North Korean leader had accepted his invitation.

He said that Kim told him that North Korea was “destroying a major missile engine testing site”. The commitment was not included in the joint declaration the two men signed, but Trump said: “We agreed to that after the agreement was signed.”

Trump said he was confident that Kim will live up to the document that they both signed. “I don’t think they have ever had the confidence in a President they have right now for getting things done.”

He also praised Kim “ability to run a country at a young age”. “He is very talented,” Trump said.

Also read: Trump’s Miami Golf Resort Attacked

Asked about a possible second summit with Kim, Trump told reporters that while one hasn’t been set up yet. “We’ll probably need another summit or meeting.” (IANS)

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Trump’s Hush Money And Illicit Activities Exposed By Prosecutors

While Trump Tweeted “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” after the court filings, the documents suggest that Trump may have known more about campaign

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In these 2018 photos, Paul Manafort leaves federal court in Washington, left and attorney Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York. VOA

Court filings Friday from prosecutors in New York and special counsel Robert Mueller laid out why Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, deserve prison time.

The filings say Cohen made illegal hush money payments to two women — Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal — ahead of the 2016 election to keep them quiet about their sexual encounters with Trump.

Federal prosecutors said Cohen made the payments in “coordination with and the direction of” Trump.

The filings also disclose an attempt by a Russian to wield influence in the campaign.

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Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

In one filing, Mueller details how Cohen spoke to a Russian who “claimed to be a ‘trusted person’ in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign ‘political synergy’ and ‘synergy on a government level.’”

Trump has denied any collusion with Russia, and Russia has denied any interference in the U.S. presidential campaign.

The filings also exposed lies told by Manafort during interviews with prosecutors and the FBI.

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Protesters urging the White House not to impede Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling gathered outside the White House and in Lafayette Park, just north of the White House, in Washington. VOA

Manafort told “multiple discernible lies,” the court documents said, including about his communications with a political consultant with alleged ties to Russian intelligence and about interacting with Trump administration officials after Manafort was indicted in 2017.

Also Read: Former FBI Director James Comey To Testify Before House

While Trump Tweeted “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” after the court filings, the documents suggest that Trump may have known more about campaign and business contacts with the Russians than he has admitted. (VOA)