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Kim Jong-un reaffirms denuclearization pledge, willingness to meet Trump

Moon noted his meeting with the North Korean leader may help revive the Trump-Kim summit but said the fate of the historic summit will largely depend on direct dialogue between the two countries, reports Yonhap News Agency.

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Seoul, May 27 : North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reaffirmed his willingness to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and hold a summit with US President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday.

“Chairman Kim Jong-un has once again clearly expressed his commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula following his pledge in the Panmunjom Declaration and expressed his willingness to end the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North Korea-US summit,” Moon said of his latest summit with the North Korean leader held on Saturday.

“We both agreed the June 12 North Korea-US summit must be successfully held,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Moon as saying here.

Saturday’s inter-Korean summit was held on the North Korean side of Panmunjom, a border village that sits directly on the Military Demarcation Line that divides the two Koreas.

The first Moon-Kim summit was held on the South Korean side of Panmunjom on April 27.

Trump on Thursday called off his scheduled summit with Kim, citing the North’s tremendous anger and open hostility, only to suggest later the meeting would go ahead as planned.

“While explaining the outcome of my summit with U.S. President Trump held last week, I relayed the message that President Trump is firmly willing to end his country’s hostile relationship with North Korea and enhance economic cooperation should Chairman Kim make a decision on complete denuclearization and implements it,” Moon said.

He said his surprise meeting with Kim came at a suggestion from the North Korean leader, who on Friday expressed hope to meet for candid dialogue.

“Also, as both Chairman Kim and President Trump sincerely wish for the success of the North-US summit, I stressed the need for the two sides to remove any misunderstanding through direct communication and to hold enough dialogue on agenda issues that need to be addressed at their summit,” President Moon said, adding, “Chairman Kim also agreed”.

Moon noted his meeting with the North Korean leader may help revive the Trump-Kim summit but said the fate of the historic summit will largely depend on direct dialogue between the two countries, reports Yonhap News Agency.

“All the efforts I am making now are aimed at improving the South-North Korea relationship on one hand, but on the other hand, they are also aimed at holding the North Korea-US summit that is absolutely needed to improve the South-North ties.

“I believe whether the June 12 North Korea-US summit will be disrupted or succeed depends on how successfully (the North and the US) complete their working-level negotiations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Trump said late Saturday that the June 12 summit was still a possibility.

America

US unemployment rate falls to 50-year low

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The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to a new five-decade low of 3.5%, while employers added a modest 136,000 jobs.

The Labor Department says that despite the ultra-low unemployment rate, which was down from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny. Hourly pay rose just 2.9% from a year earlier, lower than 3.4% at the beginning of the year.

Hiring has slowed this year as the U.S.-China trade war has intensified, global growth has slowed, and businesses have cut back on their investment spending. Still, hiring has averaged 157,000 in the past three months, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

The unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, the lowest on records dating from 1973.

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America

Trump embarrassed by TV channel

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

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New York, Sep 26 : US President Donald Trump was subjected to an embarrassment when the MSNBC news channel cut away from his press conference while he was speaking on the controversy surrounding him over the Ukrainian probe against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump on Wednesday was addressing the press conference against the backdrop of impeachment proceedings announced against him by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following allegations that he put pressure on the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to order a probe against Biden whose family has business interests there.

The allegation against Trump came to light because of a whistleblower and a transcript of the conversation between him and Zelensky in July, which has become public.

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

She added that Trump was trying to do it to deflect the attention from his impeachment.

According to the transcript of the telephonic conversation that has gone public, Trump is heard asking Zelensky to “do us a favour”, after the latter expresses gratitude for the military aid the US provided to his country.

Trump’s words of “do us a favour” is seen as a quid pro quo for the American military aid, because of which the impeachment proceedings have been announced.

After Wallace cut the press conference, her guest on the programme, justice and security analyst Matthew Miller, rebuked Trump for saying that Biden and his son had done wrong.

“This story has been looked at and thoroughly debunked by everyone involved,” Miller said, adding the real issue was whether Trump’s conduct is “impeachable”.

Trump is facing problem at a time when he is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

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Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Trump

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Pyongyang, June 23 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has received a personal letter with “excellent” and “interesting” content from US President Donald Trump, Pyongyang’s state media said on Sunday.

“After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content,” the Korean Central News Agency said, referring to its leader.

“Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” it added.

The KCNA did not disclose when and how the letter was delivered to Kim, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The letter appears to be in response to the one Kim sent to Trump recently in time for the anniversary of their first-ever summit in Singapore last June.

Trump had described Kim’s letter as “beautiful” and “very warm”. He also emphasized that the relationship between them remains strong and that “something will happen that’s going to be very positive”.

The exchange of correspondence between the leaders renewed hopes for a resumption of denuclearization talks which have stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in February.

The summit collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons programme.

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