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South Korea to play ‘mediator’ to resolve North Korea-US summit doubts: official

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South Korea said on Thursday it would seek to mediate between the United States and North Korea after Pyongyang threatened to pull out of an unprecedented summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump on June 12 in Singapore.

North Korea on Wednesday said it might not attend the summit if Washington continues to demand it unilaterally abandon its nuclear arsenal.

Japan’s Asahi newspaper on Thursday reported the United States has demanded North Korea ship some nuclear warheads, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and other nuclear material overseas within six months.

The newspaper, citing several sources familiar with North Korean issues, said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to have told the North Korean leader when they met this month that Pyongyang might be removed from a list of state sponsors of terrorism if it ships out those nuclear items.

 The Asahi also reported that if Pyongyang agrees to complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization at the planned Singapore summit, Washington was considering giving guarantees for Kim’s regime.
Doubts over the U.S.-North Korea summit arose on Wednesday when Pyongyang denounced U.S.-South Korean military exercises as a provocation and called off high-level talks with Seoul.

Trump has said it is unclear whether the summit will go ahead but he would continue to insist on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

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South Korea’s presidential Blue House said it would seek to bridge the gap between the Washington and Pyongyang.

A Blue House official said the South Korean government or President Moon

The Blue House intends to “sufficiently convey (to the United States) what we’ve discerned about North Korea’s position and attitude… and sufficiently convey the United States’ position to North Korea,” thereby helping to bridge the gap between their positions, the official said.

“Seeing the announced statements and responses from North Korea and the United States, we see the two parties as having a sincere and serious attitude (to stand in each other’s shoes),” the official said.

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South Korea intends to continue discussions with North Korea to hold high-level talks North Korea canceled on Wednesday, Blue House said in a separate statement on Thursday.

intends to more actively perform “the role of a mediator” between South Korea, the United States and North Korea.

Trump will host South Korean President Moon at a summit at the White House on May 22, and the two are expected to discuss the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit.

Meanwhile, Chinese government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, said on Thursday the measures North Korea has taken to ease tension on the Korean peninsula should be acknowledged, and all other parties, especially the United States, should cherish the opportunity for peace.

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Cancellation of the summit, the first between U.S. and North Korean leaders, would deal a major blow to what would be the biggest diplomatic achievement of Trump’s presidency. This comes at a time when his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal has drawn criticism internationally and his move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has fueled deadly violence on the Israel-Gaza border.

Reporting by Joyce Lee in SEOUL; Additional reporting by Kaori Kaneko in TOKYO and Michael Martina in BEIJING; Editing by Michael Perry

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Meghan McCain explodes after declaring herself a ‘sacrificial Republican’ — and shocks audience with slur against Joy Behar

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Whoopi Goldberg had to cool off a heated argument on "The View" between Joy Behar and Meghan McCain, who complained about being the show's "sacrificial Republican."

McCain mocked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for appearing at President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Orlando, where the president belittled him from the stage.

"The transformation is complete," McCain said. "That's what I thought last night, the transformation is complete."

She then warned the other panelists not to overlook the crowd enthusiasm for Trump, and she recalled a conversation with a producer who couldn't understand why the president's supporters loved him so much.

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UK makes ‘first’ conviction over 3D printed gun

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A student was convicted on Wednesday of manufacturing a firearm using a 3D printer, in what London's police said they believed was the first such successful prosecution in Britain.

Tendai Muswere, 26, pleaded guilty to making the 3D printed gun, in a hearing at Southwark Crown Court in the British capital.

Police searched Muswere's central London home on drugs grounds in October 2017. They found evidence of cannabis cultivation -- and also components of a 3D printed gun, capable of firing a lethal shot.

Zimbabwean national Muswere, who does not hold a firearms licence, said he was printing the firearm for a university film project and claimed he did not know that the components were capable of firing.

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Reparations hearing erupts in applause after Ta-Nehisi Coates gives McConnell an epic lesson on racism

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Author Ta-Nehisi Coates on Wednesday delivered an epic smack down of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on reparations for slavery.

In Coates's opening remarks, he responded directly to McConnell's claim that the government should not pay out reparations to black Americans because slavery ended more than 150 years ago.

Coates pointed out that the United States was still paying out pensions to the families of Civil War soldiers "well into this century" and he said that the government still honors treaties it signed even though no one who signed them is still alive today.

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