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  • The island that hosted the Trump-Kim nuclear summit has a dark past>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 3:51 PM:)
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    Capella hotel manor 2018 e1528425297696

    • US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a summit Tuesday in Sentosa, a resort town frequented by the wealthy in Singapore. 
    • Sentosa translates to "tranquility" in Malay. Before Singapore changed the island's name in 1970, it was called Blakang Mati, which means "Behind Death."
    • Sentosa has a past plagued by piracy, widespread disease, and bloodshed. Today, the island is a popular vacation spot with golf courses, theme parks, and luxury hotels.

    On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for a summit in Sentosa, a Singapore resort island frequented by the wealthy. The two leaders met at the Capella, a ritzy hotel known for its colonial-style facade.

    Trump and Kim agreed to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which could eventually lead to a formal peace treaty to end the Korean War. (Details of how they plan to do that are scarce.)

    Holding the summit on the island of Sentosa — which translates to "peace and tranquility" in Malay — was a bit poetic.

    As Quartz notes, peacocks are known to freely roam the island.The Capella hotel says the birds are a symbol of new beginnings, which could serve as a nod to the historic meeting that occurred.

    But Sentosa has a history filled with anything but tranquility. Before the resort town became a millionaire's paradise, explorers recounted piracy, bloodshed, and widespread disease. The island was formerly called Blakang Mati — meaning "Behind Death" — a name that points to this dark history.

    Blakang MatiFor roughly 500 years, starting as early as the 14th century, Sentosa was a hangout spot for groups of indigenous pirates. The men would wait for ships returning to the island before ambushing, robbing, and slaughtering the vessels' crews.

    Later, in the early colonial period, a mysterious disease (now thought to be malaria) killed most of Sentosa's inhabitants, according to Time. By 1848, only two households remained, down from a population of about 60.

    During World War II, when the Japanese overtook Singapore, Sentosa was used as a prisoner-of-war camp. Japanese forces used one of the beaches to perform mass executions of Chinese civilians — part of a plan to eradicate any Chinese people living in Singapore. Another part of the island served as a Japanese Air Force unit base, which housed a number of Korean prostitutes.

    sentosa

    Efforts to transform the island into a tourist destination began in 1969 after Singapore's independence. It was renamed "Sentosa," and a cable car and monorail system connecting it to the mainland was built. But in 1983, an oil drilling ship crashed into the cableway, plunging several cars into the sea and killing seven people. Visitor numbers declined following the accident, prompting the Singaporean government to conduct a $2.2 billion revamp of Sentosa in the early 2000s.

    Today, Sentosa is a popular vacation spot featuring golf courses, theme parks, and luxury hotels. In 2009, London-based architecture firm Foster + Partners repurposed some of the island's 19th century mansions to create the Capella resort with a spa, golf course, four restaurants, and pools surrounded by a rainforest on 30 acres of land.

    The island seems to have put its deathly past behind it.

    SEE ALSO: 28 photos that show North Korea's obsession with huge, odd buildings

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  • Trump gave Kim Jong Un a look inside 'The Beast,' the president's $1.5 million armored limousine>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 3:47 PM:)
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    President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jung-un

    • President Donald Trump showed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un his presidential state car, a $1.5 million limousine also known as "The Beast."
    • After Trump gestured towards the limousine, designed to sustain bullets, bombs, and chemical attacks, a Secret Service agent opened a passenger door and Kim smiled and peered in. 
    • Trump's gesture was perhaps an attempt to bond over their shared appreciation for luxury goods. 

    In a show of their newly friendly rapport, President Donald Trump gave North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a glimpse inside his presidential state car, a $1.5 million Cadillac also known as "The Beast."

    Media watched as the two leaders strolled around the grounds of the Capella Hotel in Singapore after lunch during their day-long summit — and then unexpectedly approached the president's car. 

    After Trump gestured toward the limousine designed to sustain bullets, bombs, and chemical attacks, a Secret Service agent opened a passenger door and Kim smiled and peered in. 

    The North Korean dictator is known to be a fan of Western products, and the country's ruling elite has imported growing amounts of luxury goods, including expensive cars, liquor, and musical instruments. 

    Trump described the meeting as "really fantastic" and said he and Kim got along well. 

    "A lot of progress. Really very positive. I think better than anybody could have expected. Top of the line. Really good," the president told reporters.

    WATCH: President Trump walks with Kim Jong Un to show off his presidential limousine that is nicknamed "The Beast." https://t.co/SjJeNHlVRD pic.twitter.com/f2CJ4ZHR6x

    — NBC News (@NBCNews) June 12, 2018

     

    SEE ALSO: 'We're America, bitch': A senior White House official sums up the Trump Doctrine

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  • Kim Jong Un left the summit in a $1 million bullet-proof Mercedes limo — take a look inside>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 3:46 PM:)
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    Kim Jong Un Mercedes S600 Pullman Guard

    • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was whisked away from his meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday in a Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Guard limousine. 
    • Kim's limo is an older Mercedes sold between 2008 and 2013. 
    • The Mercedes S600 is powered by a V12 engine, is bulletproof, and loaded with amenities. 
    • A new Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard costs upwards of $1.6 million. 

    Kim Jong Un had quite the whip while in Singapore. 

    The North Korean leader departed Tuesday's summit with President Trump in what is believed to be an armored Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Guard limousine. Little is known about the Kim's Mercedes limo. However, it looks to be from the W221 generation sold from 2008 to 2013 and features white leather upholstery. 

    Photos of the North Korean Mercedes Limo first surfaced in 2014 and are estimated to be worth well over a $1 million each at the time of purchase. 

    While Kim's limo is not the most updated version of the vehicle, it's still quite the ride. 

    Production W221 S600 Pullman Guards are powered by a 517 horsepower, 5.5-liter, bi-turbo V12 engine and decked out with a luxurious, leather-lined interior. 

    At roughly 21-feet in length, the S600 Pullman is absolutely massive and there is almost certainly special modifications made to the vehicle to suit Kim's personal needs. 

    These days, if you want something like Kim Jong Un's limo, you'll have to go with the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard. 

    The current generation W222 Maybach S600 Pullman Guard debuted in late 2016, but customer deliveries didn't commence until the second half of 2017. 

    Even though Mercedes-Maybach announced a new updated S650 Pullman limo in March, there is not yet an armored Guard of the new model. Thus, if you want bullet resistant protection, you'll need the S600. 

    Take a look at the latest version of the vehicle below: 

    SEE ALSO: The $325,000 Rolls-Royce Cullinan has arrived and it's the ultimate luxury SUV

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    The Pullman Guard limo is a stretched version of Mercedes' $513,000 Maybach S600 Guard armored sedan.



    Stretched to more than 21-feet in length and loaded with armored protection, the Pullman Guard tips the scales at more than 5.5 tons or 11,000 pounds.



    Power for the Pullman Guard comes from a monster 6.0 liter, 530 horsepower, twin-turbocharged V12 engine.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider> <>
  • Trump trade adviser apologizes after saying there's 'a special place in hell' for Justin Trudeau>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 3:32 PM:)
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    Peter Navarro

    • Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump's protectionist trade adviser, apologized for saying there was a "special place in hell" for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
    • Navarro's' attack came amid a war of words over trade between Trump and Trudeau.
    • "In conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message," Navarro said.

    Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump's hardline trade adviser, walked back inflammatory comments about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday at a conference in Washington, DC.

    "In conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message," Navarro said at the Wall Street Journal's CFO Network summit. "I own that; that was my mistake, my words."

    His apology comes amid a war of words between Trump and Trudeau after the G7 summit in Canada.

    At a press conference Saturday, Trudeau recommitted to imposing retaliatory tariffs on US goods in response to Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.

    "I have made it very clear to the president that it is not something we relish doing, but it something that we absolutely will do," Trudeau said. "Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around."

    The remarks caused Trump to bash the Canadian leader on Twitter and refuse to sign the official G7 communique — a mostly symbolic but important gesture.

    "PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, 'US Tariffs were kind of insulting' and he 'will not be pushed around,'" Trump tweeted. "Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!"

    Navarro piled on Trudeau during a Fox News interview on Sunday.

    "There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door," Navarro said. "And that's what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference. That's what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did."

    Navarro wasn't the only Trump official to go after Trudeau. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow also lambasted the Canadian prime minster during a CNN interview on Sunday.

    'He really kind of stabbed us in the back," Kudlow said. "He really, actually — you know what? He did a great disservice to the whole G7."

    Trump also kept up the fight with Trudeau during the trip to Singapore for the historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump told reporters at a press conference following the summit that Trudeau's comments "cost a lot of money for the people of Canada."

    Trump's decision to pull support from the official communique further alienated the US from the rest of the G7 countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK. The fight also seriously raises the likelihood that the current round of tariffs could escalate into a full-blown trade war.

    SEE ALSO: Trump says now-famous G7 photo with Merkel and other leaders was just 'an innocent picture'

    DON'T MISS: Trump's trip to the G7 summit was a 'burning tire fire' that could push the US into a full-on trade war

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  • Trump emerges from Kim Jong Un summit a changed man — and a full-blown North Korea apologist>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 2:36 PM:)
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    trump kim summit

    • President Donald Trump emerged from his summit with Kim Jong Un with fresh hopes for peace in Korea — and a full-blown North Korea apologist.
    • An estimated 100,000 North Koreans live in political prisons, on par with the inhumanity of Nazi German death camps. All North Koreans live oppressed in their self-expression by the Kim regime. 
    • Trump not only sidelined talk about North Korea's human rights record, he offered apologies for Kim, saying he had just done what he had seen done, and that he loves his people. 

    President Donald Trump emerged from his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, perhaps the most brutal abuser of humanity on the planet, with fresh hopes for peace in Korea.

    And what stunned many observers was a shift in rhetoric that made Trump sound like a full-blown North Korea apologist.

    An estimated 100,000 North Koreans live in political prisons on par with the inhumanity of Nazi German death camps. North Koreans can get locked up in these prisons for offenses as mild as listening to South Korean music.

    Kim has personally watched his own people, and members of his own family, executed through savage means.

    In his State of the Union address, Trump acknowledged this, calling North Korea "depraved" and shouting out a North Korean defector who had been abused by the regime. 

    But after meeting Kim on Tuesday, Trump shifted his tone.

    "It's a rough situation over there, there's no question about it," Trump said of North Korea's human rights abuses. "It's rough in a lot of places by the way, not just there."

    In diplomacy, not every issue can be dealt with at once. Trump, as US president, has a responsibility to deal with North Korea's nuclear threat toward his people before he champions the rights of North Koreans. But in a media blitz after the summit, he brushed aside and deflected criticism of North Korea's human-rights record under Kim, calling him "funny," "smart," and "talented."

    The UN said in 2014 that North Korea commits "systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights." Amnesty International puts North Korea in a category all its own with its abuses.

    Asked in a press conference if he had betrayed the 100,000 or so political prisoners, many of whom would live their lives caged for relatively mild criticism of Kim or deviations the regime's narratives, Trump tried to argue that he had actually helped them. 

    "I think I've helped them. Things will change. ... I think they are one of the great winners today," Trump said, adding that "there's not much I can do right now."

    Later, in an interview with Voice of America's Greta Van Susteren, Trump brushed off a contentious exchange about Kim's human-rights abuses.

    "Really, he's got a great personality," Trump told Van Susteren. "He's a funny guy, he's very smart, he's a great negotiator. He loves his people, not that I'm surprised by that, but he loves his people."

    “But he's starved them. He's been brutal to them. He still loves his people?” Van Susteren asked. 

    "Look, he's doing what he’s seen done, if you look at it," Trump said.

    SEE ALSO: Trump toes Kim Jong Un's line in a bizarre press conference on no sleep after the summit

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  • Trump applauds North Korea's 'great beaches,' says they would be a perfect location for condos and hotels>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 2:24 PM:)
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    donald trump kim jong un singapore summit

    • In a press conference following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, President Donald Trump applauded North Korea's "great beaches" and said they would be a great location for condos and hotels.
    • Trump's claim to fame was as a condo and hotel developer.

    In a press conference following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, President Donald Trump applauded North Korea's "great beaches" and said they would be a great location for condos and hotels.

    As a former developer, Trump appeared to hint at that real estate could be the key to North Korea's economic development as a country.

    "As an example, they have great beaches," Trump said to reporters. "You see that whenever they're exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, 'Boy, look at that view. Wouldn't that make a great condo?'"

    Trump added that North Korea could be a great location for hotels, too.

    "You could have the best hotels in the world right there," Trump said. "Think of it from a real estate perspective. You have South Korea, you have China, and they own the land in the middle. How bad is that, right? It's great."

    Trump's news conference on Tuesday came after his historic meeting with Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island, where the two world leaders discussed North Korea's path to denuclearization and signed a statement that the two nations would open relations.

    Watch Trump's remarks below:

    President Trump says North Korean beaches could make a great location for condos, they could also have great hotels pic.twitter.com/cZhhhTV72x

    — CNBC (@CNBC) June 12, 2018

    SEE ALSO: Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet for the first time in historic Singapore summit

    DON'T MISS: Here's the moment President Donald Trump met Kim Jong Un for the first time — and gave North Korea everything it's ever wanted

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  • Here's how world leaders are reacting to the historic Trump-Kim summit>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 2:20 PM:)
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    Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump gesture

    • Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un concluded a highly anticipated summit on Tuesday.
    • The two leaders' relationship has global ramifications.
    • South Korea, China, Russia, and Britain have responded positively to the summit.
    • Iran and some US Democrats have not been as optimistic.
    • Scroll down to see all the responses. 

    Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met for the first time on Tuesday in Singapore, where they promised to commit to peaceful relations and work toward "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula, though the exact definition of that remains unclear.

    The two leaders' relationship has had massive implications for countries around the world. North Korea flew a missile over northern Japan last August, weeks after Trump threatened Kim with "fire and fury."

    The US and South Korea have for decades held joint military exercises on the North's border in what Pyongyang has interpreted as rehearsals for war on the peninsula.

    World leaders' reactions to the summit have ranged from triumph to cautious optimism to complete disapproval.

    Scroll down to see all the reactions so far.

    Kim Jong Un  Moon Jae-in

    South Korea: A 'great victory,' 'huge step forward' by all of us

    President Moon Jae-in, who has for months been trying to bring Trump and Kim to the negotiating table, praised the "historic" summit and called it a "great victory achieved by both the United States and the two Koreas."

    Read Moon's full statement below:

    This just in: South Korea’s Moon Jae-in statement on today’s summit pic.twitter.com/mPDElMjwyb

    — Elise Hu (@elisewho) June 12, 2018

    Trump told reporters on Tuesday that the US and South Korea would end war games on the Korean Peninsula, although militaries from both those countries said they have yet to receive that instruction.

    Many South Koreans in Seoul also told Business Insider last weekend that the summit could be an opportunity for Koreans to "liberate" from the "constant uncertainty" of war, and that any inter-Korean meeting was "better than nothing."

    kim xi toast

    China: We might lift sanctions

    China could adjust or even remove its sanctions on North Korea, the country's foreign ministry said after the summit. China is North Korea's largest trading partner.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Tuesday, as cited by Reuters: "The UN Security Council resolutions that have been passed say that if North Korea respects and acts in accordance with the resolutions, then sanction measures can be adjusted, including to pause or remove the relevant sanctions."

    Beijing has long argued that sanctions were "not a goal in themselves."

    The country's state media also covered the Trump-Kim summit closely and appeared to approve of the talks: "Give peace a chance," the state-run People's Daily newspaper tweeted while reporting the summit.

    Beijing "welcomes and supports the history-making talks between DPRK and US leaders" and "will continue to play a unique and important role to resolve the peninsula issue," People's Daily reported, paraphrasing comments from Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

    trump shinzo abe

    Japan: Thanks, Trump, for bringing up human-rights issues

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters after the summit that he was grateful to Trump for bringing up human rights issues between Japan and North Korea, which have plagued relations between the two Asian countries for decades.

    At least 17 Japanese citizens disappeared at the hands of North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, and many of their whereabouts remain unknown.

    Trump said he had "absolutely" raised the issue of the abductions with Kim, and although they weren’t mentioned in the joint statement, the North Koreans "are going to be working on that."

    Trump and Kim held a private one-on-one meeting during the summit, and there may never be a full record of the conversation.

    According to the South China Morning Post, Abe said on Tuesday that he "would like to thank the president [Trump] for raising the abduction issue" and that he was willing to continue the discussions with North Korea directly.

    He said: "I'm determined that Japan will have to directly face North Korea and resolve [the abductions] bilaterally."

    Vladimir Putin smile

    Russia: Cautiously optimistic, but the 'mere fact that this meeting took place' is a good sign

    Russian President Sergei Lavrov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency after watching Trump and Kim's televised comments: "We have not seen any documents. I think they have not been published yet, but the fact of the meeting itself is of course positive."

    Lavrov met Kim in Pyongyang last month and invited the North Korean leader to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin.

    Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, was cautiously optimistic. He said the summit was an "important step forward," but that "the devil is in the detail."

    Ryabkov told local media, as cited by Reuters: "Now we can only welcome the fact that an important step forward has been made. Of course the devil is in the detail, and we have yet to delve into specifics. But the impulse, as far as we understand, has been given."

    He added that Russia was ready to help North Korea on its path toward denuclearization.

    trump kim summit

    UN: Give Kim 'patience and support' to achieve denuclearization

    The United Nations urged countries to be patient and support North Korea's pledge to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

    UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday, cited by Reuters: "Implementing today's and previous agreements reached, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions, will require patience and support from the global community."

    The US-North Korea joint statement promised to work toward "complete denuclearization," which stopped short of the US's goal of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization (CVID).

    Trump told reporters he pressed Kim on CVID, but did not get it in writing "because there was no time. I'm here one day."

    Boris Johnson

    Britain: Hopeful for a 'secure and prosperous future' in North Korea

    UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described the summit as "constructive" and called on Kim to work toward CVID.

    He said:

    "We welcome the fact that President Trump and Kim Jong Un have held a constructive summit. This is an important step toward the stability of a region vital to global economic growth and home to thousands of British nationals and important UK interests.

    "The reaffirmation of North Korea's commitment in the Panmunjom Declaration to work toward complete denuclearization of the North Korean Peninsula is a signal that Kim Jong Un may have finally heeded the message that only a change of course can bring a secure and prosperous future to the people of North Korea.

    "There is much work still to be done and we hope Kim continues to negotiate in good faith towards complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization. The UK will continue to support the United States in its efforts to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

    Johnson previously described North Korea's nuclear threat as a "nuclear sword of Damocles... held over the head of a trembling human race."

    Trump and Kim

    EU: 'Diplomacy is the only way forward' toward peace

    The summit "reaffirms our strong conviction that diplomacy is the only way forward towards lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula," said EU High Representative Federica Mogherini on Tuesday. "Pursuing the diplomatic track is often challenging, but it is always rewarding."

    Mogherini also emphasized the importance of CVID, and said the joint statement was a "clear signal that this goal can be achieved."

    She also paid tribute to the "leadership, wisdom and determination of" South Korean President Moon Jae-in that led to the summit.

    Trump press conference Korea Kim Jong Un summit

    Iran: Trump might 'cancel the agreement before returning home'

    Iran warned North Korea against negotiating with Trump, saying that the US president "does not represent the American people."

    Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, an Iranian government spokesman, said according to Reuters: "We don't know what type of person the North Korean leader is negotiating with. It is not clear that he would not cancel the agreement before returning home.

    "This man does not represent the American people, and they will surely distance themselves from him at the next elections."

    A spokesman for the country's foreign ministry also said Iran was "not optimistic" about the summit because Trump has "has undermined international agreements and has unilaterally withdrawn from them."

    Trump threw US-Iran relations into disarray when he withdrew from the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran last month. He also pulled out of the 2015 Paris climate accord last June.

    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a weekly news conference March 1, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Pelosi held a weekly news conference to fill questions from members of the media. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    US Democrats: Trump's new friendship with Kim is 'just embarrassing'

    Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed the joint statement as one containing "vague promises that do not approach" the US goal of CVID, and one drawn up in Trump's "haste to reach an agreement."

    In his haste to reach an agreement, @realDonaldTrump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo. #TrumpKimSummit https://t.co/NChFg6wjNI pic.twitter.com/iWg17Ludl7

    — Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) June 12, 2018

    Other Democratic lawmakers also expressed dismay over Trump's seemingly warm relationship with Kim, with Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii calling it "just embarrassing."

    This is an abdication of American leadership. Just embarrassing. https://t.co/G6uCVSvj2E

    — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) June 12, 2018

    Kim’s gulags, public executions, planned starvation, are legitimized on the world stage.

    U.S. gives up one of our biggest negotiating chips - military exercises.

    North Korea ends up BACKTRACKING on previous promises on denuclearization.

    What the hell?

    — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 12, 2018

     

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  • Trump asks photographers to make him and Kim Jong Un look 'nice, handsome, and thin' in their photos>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 2:12 PM:)
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    KJU Grimacing

    • President Donald Trump jokingly asked reporters to make him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un look "nice, handsome, and thin."
    • Trump and Kim met Tuesday for a historic diplomatic summit.

    President Donald Trump instructed photographers to make him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un look "nice, handsome, and thin" after their working lunch during the summit in Singapore on Tuesday. 

    "Very nice. Getting a good picture everybody, so we look nice and handsome and thin? Beautiful. Perfect," Trump said. 

    The working lunch was the final part of the summit between Trump and Kim. It followed a public greeting, one-on-one meeting, and expanded bilateral meeting.

    Also present from the US delegation were White House chief of staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security advisor John Bolton, press secretary Sarah Sanders, ambassador Sung Kim, and National Security Council Asia Director Matt Pottinger. 

    While there were translators present, it's likely Kim understands much more English than he lets on, according to one of his former high school teachers.

    Watch the full exchange here:

     

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  • NBC might swap Megyn Kelly's struggling show with Kathie Lee and Hoda>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 2:05 PM:)
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    Megyn Kelly show

    • NBC is considering bumping Megyn Kelly's ratings-troubled show back an hour, Page Six reported.
    • "Megyn Kelly Today" has struggled with ratings since its September 2017 premiere.
    • The slot would be filled by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb's hour of the "Today" show.

    After months of low ratings, NBC is considering pushing Megyn Kelly's morning show to a later time slot, Page Six reported.

    Sources told Page Six "Megyn Kelly Today" could be pushed an hour later and replaced by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb's hour of the "Today" show to fix low viewership in the later morning hours.

    "It's the smart move," an anonymous source labeled as an "insider" told Page Six.

    The former Fox News host has struggled to attract viewers since her NBC premiere in September 2017 and opened to wide criticism and disappointing audience numbers that were lower than both her previous viewership and other hosts in the same time slot on similar channels.

    Page Six previously reported Kelly's audience was down 32% from the previous year and was affecting viewership for the later hours of the "Today" show. 

    But recent Nielsen data is tracking Kelly's show up 5% in total viewers month-over-month. A network source told Page Six the rumored swap was "just another 'timeless' rumor about Megyn Kelly."

    As it stands now, the "Today" show is on from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET, then "Megyn Kelly Today" until 10 a.m. ET, then "Today With Kathie Lee & Hoda" until 11 a.m. ET.

    Kelly signed a three-year, $69 million contract with NBC in January 2017.

    The show has made headlines for its awkward interviews with guests including Debra Messing and Jane Fonda. Former "Today" show anchor Ann Curry criticized Kelly's lasting feud with Fonda after the episode, saying "this is not journalism."

    NBC declined Page Six's request for comment.

    SEE ALSO: Megyn Kelly reportedly has a $69 million contract with NBC — here's how that stacks up against other top TV hosts

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  • Trump says now-famous G7 photo with Merkel and other leaders was just 'an innocent picture'>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 1:38 PM:)
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    g7 leaders trump merkel summit

    • A photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders talking to a seated US President Donald Trump became a sensation following the contentious G7 summit.
    • In an interview with ABC, Trump said the image was "such an innocent picture."
    • Trump also incorrectly claimed that the photo "was put out by my people," as it was released by Merkel's office.

    The most famous photo to come out of this year's G7 summit was not the official "family portrait," but rather a photo of other world leaders talking to a seated President Donald Trump.

    The photo became a sensation online, and many observers felt it underscored the growing tension between Trump and the other G7 leaders.

    In an interview following the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump tried to downplay the photo's meaning to ABC's George Stephanopoulos. Trump said the group was simply waiting to see the final version of the official G7 communique, a largely symbolic statement about the progress made at the summit.

    "She was looking at me, you know what we were doing?" Trump said of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "We were talking while we were waiting for the final copy of the document. That was, that was such an innocent picture."

    In the photo, Merkel, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are standing around a table where Trump was seated with his arms folded. Aides for each of the leaders stood by the side, including top economic adviser Larry Kudlow and national security adviser John Bolton.

    Trump ultimately refused to sign on to the communique.

    "I left, everybody was happy, everybody shook," Trump said. "You should ask Prime Minister Abe. Everybody was happy."

    The decision to remove the US from the communique set off a strong response from other G7 leaders. Merkel called Trump's decision "sobering and a bit depressing," and Macron also offered a strong rebuke.

    "International cooperation cannot be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks," Macron said in a statement.

    Trump also incorrectly claimed that the photo was released by the US team.

    "You know, we put out that picture. That was put out by my people," Trump told Stephanopoulos.

    The image was first released by Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, and was taken by the official German government photographer Jesco Denzel.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's trip to the G7 summit was a 'burning tire fire' that could push the US into a full-on trade war

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  • Journalists covering the Trump-Kim summit were given free USB fans — but security experts warn they may be Trojan horses full of malware>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 1:32 PM:)
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    Trump Kim summit

    • Journalists covering President Donald Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore this week were given free USB-powered fans as a gift.
    • Security experts say anyone who plugs the fans in is at risk of getting hacked.

    Journalists covering this week's summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore were given a fun gift bag containing a water bottle, a trial to the Straits Times newspaper, and a tourism guide to the island where the leaders' meeting took place.

    It also included a tiny fan that plugs into a mini-USB port or iPhone Lightning port for power, according to tweets from the historic summit.

    It could be a nice gesture from the hosts. As the Dutch journalist Harald Doornbos wrote in a tweet about the fan, "it is pretty hot here in Singapore," according to a translation from the BBC.

    13/ Handig. In de persmap voor de #KimTrumpSummit zit een mini usb fan. Handig om koel te blijven tijdens het schrijven. Het is hier in Singapore idd vrij heet. 33°C of zo. Maar haalt het niet bij Dubai, koning van de oven. pic.twitter.com/6tQd5d7gCW

    — Harald Doornbos (@HaraldDoornbos) June 10, 2018

    Media goody bag: Mini USB fan, hand-held fan with #TrumpKim on either side to blow around all the hot air.... and a fun guide to Sentosa. NB: that's not the delegations playing beach volleyball. pic.twitter.com/fbdKVzr0Cn

    — Amanda Drury (@MandyCNBC) June 10, 2018

    But security experts around the web warned that the fan may not just be a way to stay cool. It could be a Trojan horse designed to steal data from any journalist who plugged the fan into his or her device.

    Anything that plugs into a USB port could allow an attacker to get malicious software onto your computer. It's how the notorious Stuxnet worm infected its targets, and many big companies worried about information security forbid their employees from plugging anything into a USB port.

    Twitter exploded with security experts telling journalists not to plug the fan in. It could install keylogger software, or hack their email, they warned:

    So, um, summit journalists. Do not plug this in. Do not keep it. Drop it in a public trash can or send it to your friendly neighborhood security researcher. Call any computer science department and donate it for a class exercise. I’d be glad to take one off your hands, btw. https://t.co/vz8xjUIjVz

    — Barton Gellman (@bartongellman) June 11, 2018

    A free USB fan for journalists covering talks in Singapore, how cool! (Because it’s impossible for USB devices to spread malware or exfiltrate data, right?) https://t.co/Hin3erdWbQ

    — Stephen Cobb (@zcobb) June 10, 2018

    tearing into potentially-bugged things is my jam. anyone I know in SG for summit get one they have not already thrown away? (DM) https://t.co/xd43HZOk6f

    — Will Strafach (@chronic) June 12, 2018

    If you're thinking "I need to stay cool, I could use one of these," come talk to me. I'll kick you in the shin really hard. Then the ice you use to reduce swelling will keep you cool. Bonus: the medical bills will cost less than the inevitable incident response this thing brings. https://t.co/w8FV9BSBkA

    — Jake Williams (@MalwareJake) June 11, 2018

    This is a pretty obvious way to break into journalist's laptops. Hope you didn't bring your primary device. https://t.co/PFVApZ1cPJ

    — CS (@hiergiltdiestfu) June 11, 2018

    North Korea has become a hacking superpower in recent years, according to The Wall Street Journal. The country has been linked to attacks like the "Wannacry" ransomware. But North Korea has no known connection to the fans, according to the BBC.

    Of course, the USB fan could just be that — a way to stay cool at a hot summit. But it's probably not worth the risk to find out.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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  • Boris Johnson thinks we ought to think 'seriously' about building a massive bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland, despite the 1 million tonne weapons dump that sits in the way>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 1:30 PM:)
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    boris johnson

    • Boris Johnson believes the government should "seriously" consider a proposal by a Liverpool architect to build a £15 billion bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
    • A vast, undersea military weapons dump sits in the way.
    • Bombs cached there still explode, occasionally.
    • Apart from that, it is totally doable.


    LONDON — UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson thinks the government should look "seriously" at the idea of building a 28-mile, £15 billion bridge over the Irish Sea to connect Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    There are only a couple of problems with the proposal: The sea there is up to three times as deep as the English Channel (which separates Britain and France) and part of it includes a 1 million tonne underwater weapons dump.

    Johnson has proposed speculative bridges before.

    In January, he said Britain and France should be joined by a 22-mile bridge because it was "ridiculous" that two of the world’s greatest economies are linked only by a single railway. Prior to that, when he was Mayor of London, he proposed a new "Garden Bridge" across the Thames River. After £46 million was spent on research and planning, the bridge was cancelled by his successor, Sadiq Khan.

    This time around, Johnson thinks the 26-mile gap between Larne (near Belfast, Northern Ireland) and Portpatrick (Scotland) is doable.

    “Boris thinks this is an interesting idea which should be looked at more seriously - as politicians in both Scotland and Northern Ireland have already said," The Telegraph reported. "It's the kind of ambitious project we need to make a success of [post-Brexit] Global Britain."

    • Local sea depths:
    • Irish Sea: 160 metres
    • English Channel: 45 metres 

    At first glance, it looks as if a bridge might be a good idea. The Irish Sea reaches its narrowest point between the two nations in the north, and a bridge there would provide a straight-shot connection between Belfast, Glasgow and Edinburgh of just a few hours' journey.  Currently, the gap is served by a ferry that takes about two hours each way.

    scotland ireland tunnel

    But there are problems.

    Crossing one of the narrowest parts would land the bridge near Campbeltown in Scotland, which is a two-and-a-half hour, 138-mile drive to Glasgow, because there are no other bridges over the intervening lochs. The other route, via Portpatrick, is only 93 miles, but still takes 2 hours and 20 minutes to Glasgow, by car.

    scotland n ireland bridge tunnel

    Either way, within that narrow gap is "Beaufort Dyke," an especially deep trench in the sea that the British military began using as a safe place to dump chemical and conventional munitions after the Second World War.

    There are up to 1 millions tonnes of unexploded, rotting ordnance sitting in the 300-metre deep hollow. Decaying weapons still occasionally wash up on shore from it. There have been 186 sudden explosions linked to the dump, according to this study of seismic activity in the area.

    The largest explosion was also the most recent one, in 2004, the study's authors note. Here is a seismograph of the blast:

    explosion

    Even the architect who first proposed the bridge, Professor Alan Dunlop of Liverpool University, says the weaponry poses a daunting challenge:

    While Alan believes this is the most beneficial route, it also poses a number of challenges. The distance between Portpatrick and Larne spans around 26 miles and the bridge would need to accommodate Beaufort’s Dyke, a 300-metre deep trench off the west coast of Scotland, which was used as a munitions dump after the Second World War.

    “How you would build a bridge across that was a challenging thing to actually do,” Alan admitted.

    “I looked into the prospect of how that might be done and I found out, for instance, in Norway they’re prototyping floating bridges and they’re building bridges that are spanning across trenches that are 500 metres deep.”

    A bridge is architecturally possible. China has at least three bridges that are more than 100 miles long.

    But there are also economics to think about. A Northern Ireland-Scotland bridge would seek to replicate the success of the Øresund bridge linking Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmo in Sweden. Both those two countries have much larger populations and therefore a much greater potential level of trade. Northern Ireland and Scotland are, combined, half the size:

    • Market populations:
    • N. Ireland: 1.8 million
    • Scotland: 5.3 million (Total: 7.1 million)
    • Sweden: 10 million
    • Denmark: 5.7 million (Total: 15.7 million)

    No doubt building such a bridge would increase the amount of trade between Scotland and Northern Ireland. But it would still be a market that has half the number of consumers that benefit from the Øresund span.

    SEE ALSO: A 14th straight YouGov poll shows Britain wishes it had never voted to leave the EU

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  • A new era of diplomatic relations with North Korea is on the horizon — here's what's happened so far>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 1:00 PM:)
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    Trump South Korea Moon

    Following North Korea's overtures of reconciliation beginning in January, the regime has made several diplomatic moves to indicate it is willing to resume talks between the US and neighboring South Korea.

    After sending a delegation of athletes and members of the ruling family to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, North Korea has made significant strides in thawing relations — though some political observers remain skeptical of the regime's motives.

    Here are the latest developments between the US, South Korea, and North Korea:

    SEE ALSO: North Korea is suspiciously calm about one of its biggest complaints — and it may be a trap for the US

    During her trip to South Korea, Kim Yo Jong — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister — delivered a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The letter indicated a willingness to foster better relations between the Koreas. There was also an invitation to visit Pyongyang, North Korea's capital.



    Kim Yo Jong's trip to South Korea marked the first time since the Korean War that a ruling family member of the North Korean regime visited the country.



    North Korea then sent Kim Yong Chol, the country's vice chairman of the ruling Worker's Party Central Committee and the country's former intelligence chief, to South Korea for the Closing Ceremony at the Winter Olympics. Following Yo Jong's lead, Yong Chol also delivered a bombshell announcement: that North Korea was willing to hold diplomatic talks with the US.

    Source: Yonhap News



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider> <>
  • Trump insists he will 'absolutely' invite Kim Jong Un to the White House>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 12:59 PM:)
    <>

    Kim Jong Un and DOnald Trump agreement handshake

    • President Donald Trump gave a big signal that his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un went well.
    • When asked by a reporter if he will invite Kim to Washington D.C., Trump said, "Absolutely, I will."
    • The two leaders also signed an agreement, the details of which were not immediately released, and Trump called Kim a "very smart negotiator."


    President Donald Trump said he will "absolutely" invite North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the White House.

    The two leaders signed an agreement, the details of which were not immediately released, on Tuesday afternoon. After the signing a reporter asked whether Trump will invite Kim to the White House.

    "Absolutely, I will," Trump said.

    In answering, it appears that Trump has yet to extend the invitation to the North Korean leader, who he also called a "very talented man" and a "very smart negotiator." Trump also said the two learned a lot about each other and their countries.

    "Our whole relationship with North Korea is going to be a very much different situation than in the past," Trump said.

    "[We] decided to leave the past behind. The world will see a major change," Kim said through a translator.

    "We'll be meeting again," Trump said.

    SEE ALSO: Trump and Kim Jong Un just had their first private meeting — and officials may never know exactly what was said

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  • AT&T is climbing ahead of a judge’s decision on its $85 billion bid for Time Warner (T, TWX)>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 12:48 PM:)
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    att time warner 2x1

    • A decision is expected Tuesday afternoon in the government's lawsuit to block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner.
    • Shares of both companies were rising in early trading Tuesday.
    • The so-called "vertical merger" would give AT&T the ability to distribute more Time Warner content including HBO and CNN.
    • "Everything's on the line for the Department of Justice," a former antitrust official said.

    A federal judge in Washington, DC, is expected to hand down a ruling Tuesday in the US government’s antitrust suit against AT&T in its $84.5 billion takeover bid for Time Warner.

    Ahead of the ruling, AT&T was up about 1% in early trading while Time Warner was higher by about 0.9%.

    The merger, if permitted by Judge Richard Leon, is widely considered to be a harbinger of future media mergers that could radically shift how Americans consume television and movies going forward. Most notably, Disney's ongoing offer to buy 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion, which Comcast is expected to compete against.

    In its suit against AT&T, the Department of Justice alleges the merger would "greatly harm American consumers" through "higher monthly bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy," Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, said when announcing the suit last year.

    President Donald Trump voiced opposition to the merger back in November on the day after the suit was announced by his administration. He said the deal is "not good for the country," echoing similar statements he made on the campaign trail throughout 2016.

    AT&T rebuffed those claims made by the Justice Department and Trump, saying similar mergers are "routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market."

    The merger is considered "vertical" because it would combine Time Warner, which makes programming, with AT&T, a distributor of that content, which would then have access to more Time Warner brands like HBO, TNT, TBS, and CNN.

    "Everything's on the line now for the Department of Justice," Gene Kimmelman, a former DOJ antitrust official who now runs a consumer advocacy group, told the Washington Post. "They either come out as enormous victors … or they’ll face an avalanche of new transactions if they lose this case."

    SEE ALSO: AT&T has been battling the US government for more than 100 years – and it doesn't always win

    Join the conversation about this story »

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  • I stayed at the $6.6 billion mega-hotel Kim Jong Un visited in Singapore, and was honestly kind of disappointed>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 12:45 PM:)
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    MarinaBaySands Singapore (4 of 40)

    • On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the luxury Marina Bay Sands resort as part of a tour of Singapore's attractions.
    • Marina Bay Sands is a landmark in Singapore, featuring a hotel, casino, museum, shopping mall, and incredible views of the city and the bay.
    • We stayed at Marina Bay Sands to see if it's really worth the expensive price tag.

    Before getting down to business for Tuesday's summit, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been touring some of Singapore's most luxurious tourist attractions — including the extravagant Marina Bay Sands resort and hotel, where the local crowd greeted him like a rock star.

    At its opening in 2010, Marina Bay Sands was the world's most expensive stand-alone casino, featuring 500 tables, 1,600 slot machines, and priced at around $6.6 billion USD.

    Marina Bay Sands is also home to a luxury 5-star hotel, shopping mall, convention center, museum, two theaters, multiple upscale restaurants, and two floating pavilions. To top it all off, a Skywalk connects its three buildings and features restaurants, an observation deck, and an infinity pool that looks out over Marina Bay.

    I recently got the chance to stay at Marina Bay Sands and experience its best-known attractions. Here's a look inside:

    SEE ALSO: We asked South Koreans what they think will come out of the Trump-Kim summit, and they were surprisingly optimistic

    DON'T MISS: A North Korean defector says Trump understands Kim Jong Un better than South Korea does, but the summit won't solve anything

    Accompanied by a large security detail, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Marina Bay Sands on Monday before Tuesday's summit with Trump.



    Singapore's foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan showed him around.

    Source: Business Insider



    Last week, I got to the Marina Bay Sands (sans security escort) via Singapore's super efficient metro, which stops directly underneath the hotel.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider> <>
  • 'I got so many death threats': Dennis Rodman launched into an emotional monologue on CNN during Trump's meeting with Kim Jong Un>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 12:40 PM:)
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    Screen Shot 2018 06 11 at 6.29.52 PM

    • Former NBA star Dennis Rodman launched into an emotional monologue on CNN as President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.
    • Rodman claimed that several officials, including former President Barack Obama, brushed him off and did not take his trips to North Korea seriously.
    • "I was protecting everything," a visibly upset Rodman said. "And I believe in North Korea."


    Former NBA star Dennis Rodman launched into an emotional monologue on CNN as President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.

    "I showed my loyalty ... to this country, and I said to everybody, I said, 'the door will open,'" Rodman said to CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. "It's amazing when I said those things, when I said those damn things, when I went back home, I got so many death threats," Rodman said.

    He continued: "I was protecting everything. And I believe in North Korea."

    Rodman claimed that several officials, including former President Barack Obama, brushed him off and did not take his trips to North Korea seriously: "Obama didn't even give me the time of day," Rodman said.

    "I couldn't even go home, I had to hide out for 30 days," Rodman said, his voice quivering. "But I kept my head up high, brother. I knew things was going to change."

    Dennis Rodman/North Korea

    "I took those bullets, I took all that. Everyone came at me and I'm still standing," Rodman said. "Today is a great day for everybody. Singapore, Tokyo, China, everything. It's a great day. I'm so happy."

    Rodman has developed a rapport with Kim over the last several years, so much so that he made two trips to the reclusive nation and is one of the few American citizens to have met with its leader.

    Kim is widely believed to be a fan of the 1990s Chicago Bulls. Rodman was on the team from 1995 to 1998, playing alongside the legendary Michael Jordan.

    Rodman has a connection to Trump, who hosted the NBC reality TV show, "The Apprentice." In 2013, Rodman was fired by Trump on the show, after misspelling Melania Trump's name on a promotional poster as "Milania."

    Trump met with Kim on Tuesday and became the first sitting US president to give an audience to a North Korean leader. Moments after shaking Kim's hand, Trump said "we will have a terrific relationship."

    "I feel really great," Trump said alongside Kim. "We're going to have a great discussion."

    Kim echoed the sentiment: "It was not easy to get here ... the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward, but we overcame all of them and we are here today," Kim's translator said.

    Watch the CNN interview here:

    Dennis Rodman gets emotional as he describes what it was like when he visited North Korea and returned home: "Today's a great day for everybody." pic.twitter.com/jhXWfo2Y8M

    — Axios (@axios) June 12, 2018

    SEE ALSO: A new era of diplomatic relations with North Korea is on the horizon — here's what's happened so far

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  • Photos taken just 48 hours apart show the contrast between Trump's G7 talks and his summit with Kim Jong Un>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 12:36 PM:)
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    trump kim trudeau

    • Photos taken just 48 hours apart hint at President Donald Trump's feelings during meetings with global leaders.
    • Trump met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G7 summit over the weekend. He later called Trudeau "very dishonest & weak" and refused to sign a joint statement following negotiations.
    • In contrast, Trump was mostly smiles with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, saying talks were "top of the line." 

    Photos taken just 48 hours apart show the contrast in President Donald Trump's meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G7 summit over the weekend and his talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.

    The two-day summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, featured a tense standoff between Trump and other G7 leaders. Trump refused to endorse the group's joint statement, said that Russia should be readmitted, and traded barbs with Trudeau over an intensifying trade conflict.

    Trump later accused Trudeau of making "false statements" and tweeted that the Canadian leader was "very dishonest & weak" during negotiations.

    One photo in particular shows Trudeau trying to engage with a sullen Trump.

    In contrast, Trump was incredibly friendly during his historic meeting with Kim in Singapore on Tuesday, even giving the North Korean leader a thumbs-up.

    Trump and Kim shook hands and posed for photos before their nearly 40-minute one-on-one conversation behind closed doors.

    Trump and Kim were mostly smiles following the discussions, with Trump saying the talks were "top of the line" and better than anticipated. The two then signed a joint statement.

    SEE ALSO: Trump says the US won't endorse the G7 joint statement, calls Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau 'dishonest & weak'

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  • It looks like China knew about Trump stopping war games before the US military or South Korea did>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 11:28 AM:)
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    Foal Eagle 2015

    • President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the US and South Korea would stop joint military drills after meeting Kim Jong Un.
    • But the Pentagon and South Korea haven't heard anything about it, even though China apparently has.
    • US military forces in Korea have not received any direction to cease joint military drills, a spokesman said on Tuesday. 
    • The US has long resisted calls to suspend military drills, even when offered a freeze in North Korean missile and nuclear testing in return.
    • It traditionally asserted that bilateral, planned, and transparent military drills are legal while North Korea's nuclear program is not.

    President Donald Trump said on Tuesday after meeting with Kim Jong Un that the US and South Korea would stop military drills — but it appears China knew about it before the Pentagon did.

    US military forces in Korea have not received any direction to cease joint military drills, a spokesman said on Tuesday, Reuters notes. 

    The South Korean military issued a statement to NBC News saying: “Regarding President Trump’s comment regarding ending of the combined military drills..We need to find out the exact meaning or intention behind his comments at this point.”

    Meanwhile, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said "Our suspension for suspension process is right and has been realised," a BBC correspondent in China reported. 

    The US has long resisted calls from North Korea and China for a "suspension for suspension," whereby the US would stop military drills in exchange for a freeze in North Korean missile and nuclear testing.

    Historically, the US has asserted that the bilateral, planned, and transparent military drills are legal while North Korea's nuclear program is not, so it would be blackmail to suspend them for Pyongyang. 

    "USFK has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises - to include this fall's schedule Ulchi Freedom Guardian," US Forces in Korea Lt. Col. Jennifer Lovett said in a statement seen by Reuters.

    "In coordination with our ROK partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense (DoD) and/or Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM)."

    This is not the first time an announcement from Trump has caught the military off-guard. When Trump tweeted that transgender US citizens wouldn't be allowed to serve in the military, the Pentagon also had received no guidance. 

    SEE ALSO: Trump toes Kim Jong Un's line in a bizarre press conference on no sleep after the summit

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  • Trump toes Kim Jong Un's line in a bizarre press conference on no sleep after the summit>
    (Politics - June 12 2018 - 10:14 AM:)
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    TRUMP SPEAKS.PNG

    • President Donald Trump gave a wild press conference on no sleep Tuesday after his historic summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
    • Trump largely took Kim's word for it when it came to trusting North Korea to denuclearize.
    • Trump said the US would halt military drills with South Korea, and even called them "provocative," which is North Korea's word for them and a large concession by any standards.
    • Trump said human rights were brought up but didn't mention any specifics other than returning remains from the Korean War of the 1950s.
    • Trump congratulated everyone for taking part in history and acknowledged he may be wrong but expressed hope for the future.

    President Donald Trump gave a press conference on no sleep Tuesday in what became a bizarre reflection on his foreign policy that seemed to cede to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's way of thinking.

    Trump earlier issued a joint statement with Kim. In the document the two leaders broadly stated the new, positive diplomatic push between the two countries but included few specifics regarding denuclearization.

    The statement's only specific provision was that remains of troops killed in the Korean War of the 1950s be returned to their families.

    After opening the conference with a video presentation he showed Kim, which asked whether Kim would "shake the hand of peace," Trump took questions for more than an hour.

    During that time, Trump did not go after Kim's human-rights record, and he defended the summit as worthwhile based on his personal perception of Kim.

    Trump touted North Korea's unilateral steps toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons, such as destroying its nuclear testing site, though international inspectors weren't allowed to verify that the site truly was made inaccessible.

    When confronted with the fact that North Korea had agreed in principle to denuclearize before but always backed out later, Trump said he was taking Kim's word for it.

    "I believe he's going to live up to that document," Trump said. "He will start that process right away."

    Why 'fire and fury' ended in smiles and handshakes

    Trump nuclear button

    Asked to discuss the military consequences should denuclearization talks fall through, Trump declined, saying, "I don't want to be threatening."

    "Seoul has 28 million people — think of that," Trump said. "It's right next to the border. It's right next to the DMZ."

    "I think you could have lost 20 million people, 30 million people," in such a hypothetical conflict, Trump said. For that reason, he continued, "this is really an honor for me to be doing this."

    Trump said both the rhetoric of his "fire and fury" threat to nuke North Korea as well as the diplomatic sanctions were needed to bring about this week's meeting.

    Trump gives Kim what he wants on military drills

    Foal Eagle 2015

    Despite insisting he had given up nothing in meeting with Kim, Trump did make what could be considered a major concession by saying the US and South Korea would halt joint war games, and he did so using North Korean rhetoric.

    "We will be stopping the war games unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along as it should," said Trump, who called the exercises "very provocative."

    North Korea frequently accuses the US and South Korea of provoking it with military exercises, which it sees as a rehearsal for invasion.

    Why Trump is sure Kim is for real

    trump kim summit

    Asked how the US would ensure North Korea was living up to the agreement, he said it would be "achieved by having a lot of people," both US and international citizens, in North Korea working on denuclearization. He acknowledged this could take a long time for logistical reasons.

    Again pressed on why he trusted Kim, who has made no verifiable steps toward ridding his country of nuclear weapons, Trump questioned how anyone could be sure of anything.

    "Can you ensure anything? Can I ensure that you'll be able to sit down properly when you go to sit down?" Trump asked of a reporter who stood to ask him a question.

    "I know when someone wants to deal, and I know when someone doesn't," he said. "I just feel very strongly, they want to make a deal."

    Human rights

    North Korea

    On the subject of the 100,000 people estimated to be in political prisons in North Korea, Trump denied he had betrayed them by meeting Kim, a man who keeps them locked up in conditions that have been compared to those of Nazi concentration camps. Trump said he had done all he could for them.

    "I think I've helped them. Things will change ... I think they are one of the great winners today," Trump said, adding that "there's not much I can do right now."

    Trump said he brought up the issue of Japanese abductees with Kim — something Japan had insisted on — but he didn't provide any specific plans going forward.

    Grand hope for the future

    Trump peace video Kim Jong Un

    Trump said he was looking forward to lifting sanctions on North Korea as the country progresses in denuclearizing, but he said they must remain in place until that time. Along with his video illustrating US hopes for North Korea, Trump painted a picture of a vibrant and open North Korea linking South Korea with China and the world.

    "They have great beaches," Trump said of North Korea. "You see that when they're exploding their cannons into the oceans. Instead of that you could have the best hotels in the world there."

    Trump also announced that he may visit Kim in Pyongyang and hoped to host him in the US.

    Trump concluded the conference by expressing uncharacteristic doubt and praising the summit's historic significance.

    "I may stand before you in six months and say, 'Hey, I was wrong.' I don't know if I'll ever admit that, but I'll find some kind of excuse," Trump said with a laugh.

    "It's been a long time since I've taken it easy," a tired Trump said at the closing. "Congratulations everybody. To me it's a very important event in world history."

    "To be really true to myself, I want to get it completed," Trump said of North Korea's denuclearization. "We've done a great job, but if we don't get the ball over the line, it doesn't count."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch the moment Trump and Kim Jong Un share a historic handshake at Singapore summit

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