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Trump to hold new summit with North Korea’s Kim soon: White House

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U.S. President Donald Trump will hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un around the end of February but will maintain sanctions on Pyongyang, the White House said on Friday after Trump met Pyongyang’s top nuclear negotiator.

The announcement came amid a diplomatic flurry in Washington surrounding the visit of Kim Yong Chol, a hardline former spy chief, and marked a rare sign of movement in a denuclearization effort that has stalled since a landmark meeting between Trump and the North Korean leader in Singapore last year.

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“President Donald J. Trump met with Kim Yong Chol for an hour and (a) half, to discuss denuclearization and a second summit, which will take place near the end of February. The President looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date,” White House spokesman Sarah Sanders said.

Sanders insisted, however, that while progress was being made, the United States “is going to continue to keep pressure and sanctions on North Korea.”

Despite the summit announcement, there has been no indication of any narrowing of differences over U.S. demands that North Korea abandon a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States or over Pyongyang’s repeated demands for a lifting of punishing sanctions.

Trump declared after the Singapore summit in June that the nuclear threat posed by North Korea was over. But hours before Kim Yong Chol’s arrival on Thursday, Trump unveiled a revamped U.S. missile defense strategy that singled out the country as an ongoing and “extraordinary threat.”

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The first summit produced a vague commitment by Kim to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, but he has yet to take what Washington sees as concrete steps in that direction.

Nevertheless, both Trump and Kim had expressed an interest in arranging a second summit, which some U.S.-based analysts say would be premature due to the lack of obvious progress so far.

Communist-ruled Vietnam, which has good relations with both the United States and North Korea, has been widely touted as the most likely site of the next summit. There has also been speculation about other possible venues, including Bangkok, Hawaii or a return to Singapore.

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Friday’s Oval Office meeting followed 45 minutes of talks between the North Korean envoy and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The State Department said that Pompeo had a “good discussion” with Kim Yong Chol “on efforts to make progress on commitments President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un made at their summit in Singapore.” It provided no specifics.

Harry Kazianis, an analyst at the Washington-based Center for the National Interest, said: “Both nations must now show at least some tangible benefits from their diplomatic efforts during a second summit, or risk their efforts being panned as nothing more than reality TV.”

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(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick and David Brunnstrom; additional reporting by Steve Holland and David Alexander and Lesley Wroughton in Washington, and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; editing by Alistair Bell and Sonya Hepinstall)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Hong Kong police threaten use of water cannon in latest clashes

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Hong Kong police on Sunday for the first time rolled out water cannon trucks in clashes with protesters, after months of escalating violence, but stopped short of using them.

The financial hub has been gripped by three months of street demonstrations that started against a proposed extradition bill to China, but have spun out into a wider pro-democracy movement.

As thousands of people who had gathered at a sports stadium marched in the pouring rain to Tsuen Wan, a town in the New Territories, a group of hardcore protesters erected makeshift roadblocks and dug up bricks from the pavements.

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Hundreds of new fires are raging in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, official data showed Saturday, as thousands of troops were made available to help fight the worst blazes in years following a global outcry.

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US President Donald Trump on Sunday backed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the "right man" for Brexit and sent mixed signals about his trade war with China at a G7 summit dominated by worries about the global economy.

Johnson and Trump were on obviously friendly terms as they sat down for a working breakfast in the southern French resort of Biarritz where Group of Seven leaders are gathering this weekend.

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Asked what his advice was for Brexit, Trump replied: "He needs no advice. He's the right man for the job. I've been saying that for a long time."

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