Tuesday May 22, 2018
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Trump Won’t Let North Korea ‘Play Him’

Trump Convinced North Korea No Longer Playing Around

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Donald Trump . VOA
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Key U.S. leaders are expressing a growing optimism that decades of hostility on the Korean Peninsula are closer than ever to coming to an end.

“I don’t think he’s playing, I don’t think he’s playing,” U.S. President Donald Trump said at a White House news conference, when asked about Friday’s historic summit between North and South Korea.

“It’s never gone this far,” Trump said, standing alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Trump added the U.S. will be “setting up a meeting very shortly,” but didn’t specify a timeline, saying officials are considering two or three possible sites for his much-anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late May or early June.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in raise their hands after signing a joint statement at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, April 27, 2018.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in raise their hands after signing on a joint statement at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Friday, April 27, 2018. VOA

Earlier Friday, Kim became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea, when he crossed the border to shake the hand of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The two leaders agreed to work toward removing all nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula and vowed to pursue talks that would bring a formal end to the Korean war.

North Korea has in the past made similar commitments about its nuclear program, but failed to follow through. Asked whether Pyongyang’s commitment is real this time, Trump said “we’re not going to get played.”

“This isn’t like past administrations. We don’t play games,” said Trump, adding that previous administrations had been “played like a fiddle.”

Also Read: China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

“We will come up with a solution, and if we don’t we will leave the room,” he said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also expressed hope Friday that talks with North Korea will bear fruit.

“I can tell you that we are optimistic right now that there’s opportunity here that we have never enjoyed since 1950,” Mattis said before a meeting at the Pentagon with the Polish defense minister.

“I don’t have a crystal ball,” he added. “So, we’re going to have to see what they produce.”

The White House and the Pentagon see the diplomatic progress as the result of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign, which included heavy sanctions and frequent threats of military force. Trump had said he was prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary.

Defense Secretary James Mattis answers a question from members of the Polish media, before a arrival ceremony for Poland's Minister of Defense Mariusz Blaszczak, April 27, 2018, at the Pentagon.
Defense Secretary James Mattis answers a question from members of the Polish media, before a arrival ceremony for Poland’s Minister of Defense Mariusz Blaszczak, April 27, 2018, at the Pentagon. VOA

“Things have changed very rapidly from a few months ago — you know, the name calling and a lot of other things,” Trump said Friday.

For now, the threats have faded. But it’s not clear how much North Korea is willing to offer at the talks or what it will demand in return. Nor is it clear how much the U.S. is willing to give.

Mattis Friday did not rule out the possibility U.S. troops could come home from South Korea if a Seoul and Pyongyang are able to reach an agreement.

Also Read: Donald Trump Negotiates Trade Deal With Japan

“That’s part of the issues we’ll be discussing in the negotiations with our allies first and, of course, with North Korea,” he told reporters. “Right now we have to go along with the process, have the negotiations, not try to make preconditions or presumptions of how it’s going to go.”

On Friday, Moon and Kim’s statement said the two leaders “confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free peninsula.”

After the meeting, Trump tweeted his support for the talks, saying “good things are happening, but only time will tell!”

Fifteen minutes later, Trump tweeted: “KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!”

“I think the responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of the president of the United States,” Trump said alongside Merkel. “I think I have a responsibility to see if I can do it.”

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Deadpool Actor Karan Feels the Present Time Best to Work in the US

Karan feels things would have been different if "The Simpsons" was made in recent times.

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Deadpool 2 is going to be released this month. Pixabay

Karan Soni finds the Apu controversy “cool”. The “Deadpool” actor of Indian origin says it is a great time for people of colour in Hollywood, but he cannot say the same for the entire US, especially under Donald Trump’s presidency.

“I think it is a great time (to be people of colour) in the entertainment industry. In America in general because of Trump, I don’t know. I am very lucky to live in Los Angeles, which is a diverse place where it is great to be different,” Karan told IANS in an interview over phone from Los Angeles.

“In America in general…I know there are a lot of parts where may be it is not that great to be brown or black. So, it is good specifically in Hollywood and in general it depends where you are in America and based on who voted for whom,” he added.

Karan, who got noticed as Deadpool’s Indian cab driver Dopinder in the first part, feels the Apu controversy — which emerged as Hank Azaria voiced Apu, a character from “The Simpsons” — will initiate a positive change. Apu had to grapple with the troubling stereotype of a convenience store clerk with an exaggerated, fake Indian accent since the show’s inception.

“The controversy over the character is completely justified simply because in 2018 it is weird to have a white actor doing an Indian accent on a TV show. There are so many Indian actors who can do that part and do it better.”

He doesn’t blame the makers of the series.

“It has been on for 20-plus season. Back then I don’t know if they tried to look for Indian actors for that part or they didn’t even try.

“In a weird way, I think it is a positive controversy because people don’t want a white actor doing an Indian accent or playing an Indian character in 2018. People are upset because they want to see actors from that ethnicity to play that part instead of giving it to someone who is not.”

Karan feels things would have been different if “The Simpsons” was made in recent times.

“If the show was made this year and there was an Indian or Asian character, they would not give it to a white actor. It is cool that the controversy happened.”

Nevertheless, he is proud that the “Deadpool” makers understood the importance of having a diverse cast.

The film tells the story of an adult superhero with a twisted sense of humour. Karan’s Dopinder took relationship advice from Deadpool. His role was short, but it didn’t go unnoticed.

Based on Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, “Deadpool” is the original story of a former Special Forces operative who turns into a mercenary and is now out to seek revenge against the man who nearly destroyed his life.

The Ryan Reynolds-starrer, brought to India by Fox Star India, released on Friday.

The "Deadpool" actor of Indian origin says it is a great time for people of colour in Hollywood, but he cannot say the same for the entire US, especially under Donald Trump's presidency.
Karan Soni has acted in Deadpool 2. Pixabay

“The makers always wanted the movie to be diverse because ‘Deadpool’ movie takes place in X-Men universe. The mutants are kind of outcast, the minorities as compared to human race. They recognised it well that the cast needs to be diverse.”

In the second part, Dopinder is doing more than just driving Deadpool around. He has joined his army and is seen doing some action too.

There was a Bollywood twist in “Deadpool” in 2016 with songs like “Mera joota hai Japani” featuring in the opening credit, and “Tumse achha kaun hai” also finding a place in the narrative. But Karan says there are “fewer Indian references” in the second chapter.

After expressing his view on increasing diversity in the West, Karan, born and brought up in Delhi, hopes to see an Indian superhero crossing boundaries and entering Hollywood “in his lifetime”.

“If we look at ‘Black Panther’, it did so well. There were a bunch of supporting black characters in the movies for years and then it took a long time, but finally they did make that.

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“I am just happy to be part of the initial steps. I hope in my lifetime we will get to see an Indian superhero for sure,” said Karan, who studied at the University of South California, and soon found a way into showbiz.

He has featured in projects like “Safety Not Guaranteed”, “The Neighbors”, “Goosebumps” and “Ghostbusters”. What’s next?

“From being in ‘Deadpool’ to then going to be an Angel with ‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe in ‘Miracle Workers’ to then getting stuck in a cage with Sharon Stone in ‘Corporate Animals’ — there are different kinds of things.” (BollywoodCountry)