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Trump suddenly in ‘no rush’ North Korea to denuclearize

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U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un began a second day of talks on Thursday, with both sides expressing hope for progress on improving relations and the key issue of denuclearization.

Trump and Kim met in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, on Wednesday for their second summit, after their historic but inconclusive first meeting in Singapore eight months ago.

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As they got down to the substance of the issues dividing them on Thursday, they both appeared to be cautiously optimistic, with Trump stressing the talks aimed at tackling North Korea’s nuclear threat should not be rushed.

“I’ve been saying very much from the beginning that speed is not that important to me. I very much appreciate no testing of nuclear rockets, missiles, any of it, very much appreciate it,” Trump told reporters as he and Kim sat at a round table in the French-colonial-era Metropole hotel before their session.

“We just want to do the right deal.”

North Korea has conducted no nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests since late 2017.

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Kim, asked by a reporter if he was confident about a deal, said, through an interpreter:

“It’s too early to tell, but I wouldn’t say I’m pessimistic. For what I feel right now, I do have a feeling that good results will come out,” he said, in what was believed to be his first ever response to a foreign journalist.

“There must be people who watch us having a wonderful time, like a scene from a fantasy movie. We have so far made lots of efforts, and it’s time to show them,” Kim said.

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Trump reiterated North Korea’s potential, if a deal can be done, saying the isolated country could be an “economic powerhouse”.

The two leaders took a brief break from their talks after about half an hour to stroll in the leafy hotel courtyard, by a swimming pool.

They were joined by Kim’s top envoy Kim Yong Chol, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and interpreters. U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton looked on from a short distance but did not join the group.

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They chatted and gestured for a few minutes before going back inside.

Trump and Kim have a series of meetings scheduled at the Metropole and will later hold a “joint agreement signing ceremony”, the White House said.

PRESSURE
The White House has given no indication of what the signing ceremony might involve, although the two sides’ discussions have included the possibility of a political statement to declare the 1950-53 Korean War over.

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They have also discussed partial denuclearization measures, such as allowing inspectors to observe the dismantling of North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor, U.S. and South Korean officials say.

U.S. concessions could include opening liaison offices or clearing the way for inter-Korean projects, but critics say Trump risks squandering vital leverage if he gives away too much, too quickly.

Their June summit in Singapore was the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. It produced a joint statement in which Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the two sides committed to establish new ties and build a permanent peace regime. But there has been little progress since.

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U.S. intelligence officials have said there is no sign North Korea will give up its entire arsenal of nuclear weapons, which Kim’s ruling family sees as vital to its survival, and analysts say Pyongyang is unlikely to commit to significant steps without an easing of punishing U.S.-led sanctions.

Facing mounting pressure at home over investigations into Russian meddling in the election, Trump has sought a big win by trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for promises of peace and development, a foreign policy goal that has confounded multiple predecessors.

In the United States on Wednesday, his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified at a congressional hearing in Washington, calling Trump a “conman” who knew in advance about the release of stolen emails aimed at hurting his Democratic rival in the 2016 election campaign.

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For live coverage of the summit, click: here; Reporting by Soyoung Kim and Jeff Mason in HANOI; Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin, Jack Kim, James Pearson, Mai Nyugen, Ju-min Park, Khanh Vu, Josh Smith in HANOI, David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick in WASHINGTON; Editing by Robert Birsel and Lincoln Feast

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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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‘Making things worse’: National Farmer’s Union chief unloads on Trump in blistering statement on trade war

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Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union, delivered a blistering rebuke to President Donald Trump after he responded to new tariffs from China by issuing a purported "order" telling American companies to look for alternative places to manufacture their goods.

In an official statement, Johnson pointed out that farmers so far have felt the brunt of the president's trade war, as China has slapped heavy tariffs on key agricultural products such as soybeans.

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Google on Friday told employees to focus on work instead of heated debates about politics with colleagues at the internet company, which has long been known for encouraging people to speak their minds.

Updated workplace guidelines for "Googlers" called on them to be responsible, helpful, and thoughtful during exchanges on internal message boards or other conversation forums.

"While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not," the updated guidelines stated.

"Our primary responsibility is to do the work we?ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics."

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Trump administration urges US Supreme Court to declare firing a worker for being gay is legal

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The Trump administration has just urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that firing an employee simply because they are gay is perfectly legal. The request comes in the form of a 34-page amicus brief, which was not required, but voluntary.

The brief, signed by Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco, tells the Court it is the opinion of the administration’s Dept. of Justice that a “plain text” reading of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 do9es not protect gay people in the workplace from discrimination, including firing for being gay, as The Washington Blade, which was first to report, notes.

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