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U.S. President Donald Trump Claims, Saving “Hundreds of Millions of Dollars” By Cancelling Drills With South Korea

Bolton described Yongbyon as "an aging nuclear reactor and some percentage of their uranium enrichment plutonium reprocessing capabilities." He said Kim was unwilling to make a "big deal" with Trump.

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Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump attends a press conference following the second U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi, Feb. 28, 2019. VOA

President Donald Trump says the reason he canceled large-scale springtime military drills with South Korea is to save “hundreds of millions of dollars” that the U.S. is never reimbursed.

“That was my position long before I became president,” Trump tweeted Sunday while adding “reducing tensions with North Korea at this time is a good thing.”

Pentagon officials say instead of the massive war games, the U.S. and South Korea will hold a series of small-scale exercises.

Washington and Seoul have traditionally held the exercises every spring to test military readiness in case tensions with North Korea should boil over.

The war games have always angered the North, which usually responded with its own military exercises. North Korea has denounced the U.S., South Korea joint exercises as aggressive provocations and rehearsals for war.

Meanwhile, National Security Advisor John Bolton was all over the Sunday morning talk shows to say last week’s summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was not a failure, even though talks fell apart with no agreements.

“He’s not desperate for a deal – not with North Korea, not with anybody if it’s contrary to American national interests,” Bolton told Fox News Sunday, while also telling CBS’s Face the Nation. “The president held firm to his view. He deepened his relationship with Kim Jong Un. I don’t view it as a failure at all when American national interests are protected.”

FILE - National security adviser John Bolton listens during a press briefing at the White House, Jan. 28, 2019, in Washington.
National security adviser John Bolton listens during a press briefing at the White House, Jan. 28, 2019, in Washington. VOA

Bolton said Kim was willing to make “a very limited concession” to dismantle its Yongbyon nuclear weapons complex in exchange for “substantial” sanctions relief.

Bolton described Yongbyon as “an aging nuclear reactor and some percentage of their uranium enrichment plutonium reprocessing capabilities.” He said Kim was unwilling to make a “big deal” with Trump.

“It was the sanctions that brought the North Koreans to the table. It’s the sanctions they want relief from and relief they can get if they denuclearize,” Bolton said.

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“That was my position long before I became president,” Trump tweeted Sunday while adding “reducing tensions with North Korea at this time is a good thing.” VOA

Bolton conceded that North Korea is continuing to produce nuclear fuel and said while “there is no expiration date” on further talks, future negotiations with North Korea are in limbo.

Bolton also appeared on CNN’s State of the Union, where he defended Trump who said he took Kim “at his word” when the North Korean leader claimed knew nothing about the alleged torture of imprisoned U.S. student Otto Warmbier.

The Ohio student fell into a coma in a North Korean prison and died shortly after he was sent home two years ago.

Bolton said while Trump accepts what Kim said, it does not mean he accepts it as reality.

“The president’s been very clear he viewed what happened to Otto Warmbier as barbaric and unacceptable and I think the best thing North Korea could do right now would be to come up with a full explanation of exactly what happened to him,” Bolton said on CNN.

Also Read: North Korean Hackers Behind Surge in Cyberattacks on Banks: Report
The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff called the entire summit a “spectacular failure” and said Trump made things worse with his comments about Otto Warmbier.

“This the result of a president who is not prepared for these kind of negotiations, a staff that is not well-prepared and that is essentially flying by the seat of its pants,” Schiff said on Face the Nation. (VOA)

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We Got Trump Elected, Shouldn’t Stop Him in 2020; Says Facebook Executive

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day

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FILE - President Donald Trump departs after speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House July 17, 2019, in Washington. VOA

Facebook Vice President Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth has claimed that it was the social networking giant that got Donald Trump elected as the US President in 2016 because “he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser”.

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the key Facebook executive in the same vein suggested that the platform with over 2.45 billion monthly active users should not use its enormous reach to block Trump’s reelection in 2020.

Was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected?

“I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks. He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period”, said Bosworth who runs Facebook’s hardware group.

“Trump just did unbelievable work,” Bosworth wrote.

“They weren’t running misinformation or hoaxes. They weren’t micro-targeting or saying different things to different people. They just used the tools we had to show the right creative to each persona.

He continued: “I find myself desperately wanting to pull any lever at my disposal to avoid the same result. So what stays my hand? I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment”.

Donald Trump
Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump. Wikimedia Commons

“Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to Galadrial (Galadriel) and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her,” he wrote.

“As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”

“To be clear, I’m no fan of Trump. I donated the max to Hillary,” he tried to clarify his stand.

Bosworth said that it is worth reminding everyone that Russian interference was real but it was mostly not done through advertising.

Also Read: Scientists Develop New Method to Detect Oxygen on Exoplanet Atmospheres

“$100,000 in ads on Facebook can be a powerful tool but it can’t buy you an American election, especially when the candidates themselves are putting up several orders of magnitude more money on the same platform (not to mention other platforms),” he wrote.

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day.

“Misinformation was also real and related but not the same as Russian interference,” Bosworth mentioned, admitting that Cambridge Analytica was one of the more acute cases where the details were almost all wrong. (IANS)