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US Troops Would Be Withdrawing From Syria Over A Period of Time: Donald Trump

Currently, there are more than 2,000 US soldiers deployed in Syria

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Donald Trump. VOA

US President Donald Trump said that the US troops would be withdrawing from Syria “over a period of time,” dismissing the previously reported four-month exit plan.

“Over a period of time. I never said I’m getting out tomorrow,” Trump was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency on Wednesday.

Trump dismissed a New York Times story reporting earlier that the U.S. military had been given about four months to retreat the 2,000 soldiers from the war-torn country.

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US troops to exit Syria ‘over a period of time’: Trump. VOA
 The Trump administration announced on Dec. 19 that it had started returning U.S. troops home from Syria after claiming a victory in the fight against the Islamic State.

U.S. media cited anonymous officials as saying that the United States was planning a “rapid” and “full” withdrawal of troops from Syria.

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Trump himself last week reversed the tone in a tweet, claiming that his country is “slowly” withdrawing troops from Syria.

Currently, there are more than 2,000 US soldiers deployed in Syria. (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.

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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)