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Pompeo to travel to Pyongyang in October to plan new Trump-Kim summit

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United Nations, Sep 27 : US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Pyongyang in October to prepare a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Department of State said in a communique on Wednesday.

Pompeo met on Wednesday at the United National General Assembly with his North Korean counterpart, Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, to discuss the upcoming summit, Efe reported.

At that meeting, Pompeo “accepted Chairman Kim’s invitation to travel to Pyongyang next month,” said the State Department.

During his visit to North Korea, Pompeo will “make further progress on the implementation of the commitments from the US-North KoreaSingapore summit, including the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea,” the statement read, referring to North Korea by its initials standing for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

He will also “prepare for a second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim,” the statement said.

“Very positive meeting with #DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho @UNGA to discuss upcoming summit & next steps toward denuclearization of #NorthKorea,” said Pompeo on Twitter on Wednesday.

Trump said Tuesday that his second meeting with Kim will occur “quite soon” and explained that Pompeo would be making arrangements for that summit.

At their historic June summit in Singapore, Trump and Kim signed a declaration opening the door to denuclearizing North Korea in exchange for US guarantees for the survival of the Pyongyang regime headed by Kim, although the two leaders did not establish a timetable for those objectives.

In recent weeks, the bilateral dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang had stagnated due to differences on how to move the process forward.

Last week, the US government said that North Korea’s denuclearization process must be finalized by January 2021, at the latest, when Trump’s term ends.

North Korea, meanwhile, has demanded progress on signing a peace treaty putting an end to the technical state of war existing on the Korean Peninsula in exchange for its taking concrete steps to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, as demanded by the White House.

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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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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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