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South Korea newspapers welcome summit as ‘first step’ toward peace

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Most South Korean newspapers reacted with cautious optimism Wednesday to the historic meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore, although one conservative daily denounced the agreement it produced as “absurd”.

The centrist Hankook daily noted that the post-summit joint statement signed by the US president and North Korean leader on Tuesday had omitted Washington’s demand for a “complete, verifiable, irreversible” denuclearisation of the North and lacked a concrete timetable to achieve that goal.

Instead the statement commits Pyongyang to “work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

“In terms of the key issue… it may appear that the result failed to meet expectations,” Hankook said in an editorial.

But it added that the concrete steps of dismantling the North’s nuclear arsenal would be handled during follow-on negotiations, and that negotiations for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and permanent peace between Seoul and Pyongyang had “just begun”.

The pro-business Joongang daily was cautiously optimistic, even though the timetable for the dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons remained vague.

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“We can’t dismiss the summit as a failure. It is already a historic event that the leaders of two foes have met. The first step to end decades of hostilities since the Korean War has been made”, Joongang said.

However, the conservative Chosun daily lambasted the agreement signed by Trump and Kim.

“The June 12 agreement is so outrageous and absurd that we could hardly believe our eyes,” it said in an editorial.

The paper attacked Trump for promising to stop annual US-South Korea joint military drills before the North had started dismantling its nuclear arsenal.

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Its view was echoed by the conservative opposition Liberty Korea Party, whose leader Hong Joon-Pyo castigated the summit as a “great failure”.

But an editorial in the left-leaning Hankyoreh praised the summit as opening a new chapter for a “great change” in US-North Korea ties.

The stoppage of the US-South Korea drills, which the North says are rehearsals for aggression against it, will serve as “a catalyst” in improving ties between the two Cold War foes and denuclearisation of the North, it said.

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Ex-FBI chief: Mueller testimony must ‘wake up’ Republicans to the danger in the White House

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Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe appeared on MSNBC's "Deadline with Nicolle Wallace" to detail what he thinks will happen in the closed-door testimony from former special counsel Robert Mueller.

In a Wednesday interview, McCabe said he hopes that Mueller will "wake up" Republicans who seem disinterested in acting to protect the United States from electoral intrusion from Russia.

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Reddit limits popular Trump forum for promoting violence

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Reddit said Wednesday it had "quarantined" a popular forum of supporters of President Donald Trump, claiming users repeatedly violated platform rules by promoting violence.

The online bulletin board said it took the action against the forum or subreddit known as "The Donald" in response to "repeated rule-breaking behavior" that required its moderators to remove posts that seek to encourage or incite violence.

"Most recently, we have observed this behavior in the form of encouragement of violence towards police officers and public officials in Oregon," according to a statement posted on the forum.

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Fox News viewers lose it after ‘horrible monster’ Shep Smith gets emotional over photo of dead migrants

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Fox News host Shepard Smith castigated the Trump administration on Wednesday after a heartbreaking photo surfaced showing two dead migrants who had been trying to cross the U.S. southern border.

"This photo is deeply disturbing," Smith warned viewers before showing the photo of a drowned father and his daughter on the banks of the Rio Grande.

"Of course, it is legal to present yourself for asylum in the United States," the Fox News host continued. "Legal under American and legal under international law."

According to Smith, current Trump administration policies "are forcing some who are desperate back home to take the chance at crossing the river."

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