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North Korea says it needs trust in US before denuclearization

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Kim , Trump

United Nations, Sep 30: North Korea on Saturday demanded the United States take steps to secure Pyongyang’s trust before its denuclearization.

“Without any trust in the US there will be no confidence in our national security and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first,” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the UN General Assembly.

“DPRK government’s commitment to denuclearization is solid and firm. However, it is only possible if the US secures our sufficient trust toward the US”

The key to consolidating peace and security on the Korean Peninsula is to thoroughly implement the joint statement adopted at the historic summit between North Korea’s top leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June, said Ri.

The joint statement contains all principled issues regarding eventual solutions of the issues on the Korean Peninsula, he said.

“Once the DPRK-US Joint Statement is implemented, the current trend toward detente will turn into durable peace, and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will also be achieved.”

The primary task for effectively implementing the joint statement should be bringing down the barrier of mistrust between the two countries, said Ri.

Out of the desire and resolute determination to successfully implement the joint statement, North Korea government gives particular attention to trust-building and is pouring primary efforts to this, he said.

Even before the summit, North Korea took significant good-will measures such as stopping nuclear and ballistic missile tests and dismantling a nuclear test site, said Ri.

“However, we do not see any corresponding response from the U.S. On the contrary, instead of addressing our concern for the absence of peace regime in the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. insists on ‘denuclearization-first’ and increases the level of pressure by sanctions to achieve their purpose in a coercive manner, and even objecting the ‘declaration of the end of war’.”

“The perception that sanctions can bring us on our knees is a pipe dream of the people who are ignorant about us. But the problem is that the continued sanctions are deepening our mistrust.”

If the joint statement becomes a victim of the domestic politics of the US, then the greatest victim of the subsequent unpredictable consequences will be the US itself as a whole, Ri warned.

At this critical juncture, the US should make a foresighted judgment that faithful fulfillment of its commitment will, in the end, be in the best national interests of the United Sates and should maintain new method for solving North Korea-US relations, he said.

Speaking before a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in New York on Monday, Trump announced that himself and Kim will hold a second summit “in the not too distant future.”

After a meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ri on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, the State Department announced that Pompeo will travel to North Korea to discuss the second Trump-Kim summit.

In his speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump thanked Kim “for his courage and for the steps he has taken.” But he added that much work remains to be done and that the sanctions against North Korea will stay in place “until denuclearization occurs.”

Politics

A vote to confirm Barrett “is a vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act”: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

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Chuck Schumer
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said President Trump’s decision to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has put “Americans’ healthcare in the crosshairs.”

“The American people should make no mistake — a vote by any Senator for Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act and eliminate protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions,” Schumer wrote in a statement.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, unabated by this Administration, healthcare was already the number one issue on the ballot in November. President Trump has promised to nominate Supreme Court Justices who will “terminate” our health care law and decimate the health care system for American Indians and Alaska Natives. In Judge Barrett, President Trump has found the deciding vote.”

The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments just after the November election in a case about the Affordable Care Act. Senate Republicans have indicated they may vote to confirm Barrett before Election Day — meaning she could be seated on the bench for that case.

In an early 2017 law review essay, reviewing a book related to the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, Barrett criticized Chief Justice John Roberts’ rationale that saved the law in 2012.

“Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute,” Barrett wrote. “He construed the penalty imposed on those without health insurance as a tax, which permitted him to sustain the statute as a valid exercise of the taxing power.”

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Biden urges US Senate not to confirm Supreme Court nominee before election

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Vice President Joe Biden

Joe Biden released a statement reacting to Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination and focused on health care and protecting the Affordable Care Act.

“Today, President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the successor to Justice Ginsburg’s seat. She has a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. She critiqued Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion upholding the law in 2012,” Biden said.

He added that the Senate should not act on the vacancy until after the American people select their next president.

Senate Republicans have outlined a possible confirmation hearing for Barrett that could have her confirmed before Election Day.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments just after the election in a case about the Affordable Care Act. The case is brought by a coalition of Republican state attorneys general and the Trump administration, who argue the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, and the entire law must fall.

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Trump nominates conservative Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court

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Amy Coney Barrett

President Donald Trump on Saturday said he is nominating Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative federal appeals court judge, to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court.

Calling it a “very proud moment indeed,” Trump called Barrett a woman of “towering intellect” and “unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”
Barrett, Trump said, is “one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds.”

Trump thanks members of the senate for their commitment to ensuring a “fair and timely” confirmation of Barrett’s place on the supreme court. He urges Democrats and the press not to question Barrett on personal grounds, no doubt a reference to the difficulties his last nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, encountered.

The crowd applaud as the president, all smiles, takes the stage.

He says he is here to fulfill one of “my highest and most important duties” as president. He pays tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg who he describes as a “giant” of the American legal system. He then says he is nominating Amy Coney Barrett to replace her. Trump says Barrett is “brilliant” and has a “towering intellect”.

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