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Pompeo: North Korea missiles don’t impact negotiations

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Us Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday downplayed North Korea’s latest missile launches, saying they won’t alter the prospects for negotiations on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.

One day after North Korea called a new round of short-range missiles a “warning” against joint US-South Korea military exercises, Pompeo told reporters that it didn’t impact Washington’s approach to the region.

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The latest launches were the fourth pair of projectiles fired in less than two weeks by the North. They came after the South Korean and US militaries began mainly computer-simulated joint exercises on Monday to test Seoul’s ability to take operational control in wartime.

Asked if the missile launches dampened the environment for negotiations on denuclearization, Pompeo replied “No.”

“President Trump’s administration strategy with respect to North Korea hasn’t changed,” he said.

“Our effort is to achieve the full, final denuclearization of North Korea. We are hopeful that in the coming weeks we will get back to negotiating table to achieve that.”

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Pompeo noted that the recent launches by North Korea did not involve the medium and long-range ballistic missiles that had raised alarms in 2017 and 2018, and that Pyongyang has stopped testing nuclear weapons since September 2017.

“Those are both good things,” he said.

“Now the task is for us to deliver on want the two leaders agreed to back in June of last year in Singapore,” he said, referring to meetings between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, when the North made a vague pledge on denuclearization.

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“We are fully focused on that and we are planning for negotiations in a couple of weeks and we anticipate the two teams getting back together.”

During an impromptu June meeting in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula the two leaders had agreed to resume talks, but working-level dialogue has yet to begin.

Analysts say the military maneuvers on both sides could see discussions pushed back until the autumn, and Pyongyang signalled Tuesday that it was in no mood to talk.

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It called the drills a “flagrant violation” of the diplomatic process between Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul.


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Latest bombshell details Rudy Giuliani’s quid pro quo with Ukraine: ‘Your country owes it to us’

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More details continue to come out about President Donald Trump's alleged extortion of Ukraine for campaign assistance.

The latest revelations came from a report published by The Washington Post Friday evening.

The newspaper flushed out the apparent quid pro quo Trump sought.

"When President Trump spoke on the telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in late July, the Ukrainians had a lot at stake. They were waiting on millions in stalled military aid from the United States, and Zelensky was seeking a high-priority White House meeting with Trump," the newspaper reported. "Trump told his Ukrainian counterpart that his country could improve its image if it completed corruption cases that have 'inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the USA,' according to a readout of the call released by Kiev."

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Trump ordered ‘moderate’ deployment of troops to defend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s oil: report

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President Donald Trump ordered U.S. troops to the Middle East, the Department of Defense announced Friday.

"President Trump has approved a 'moderate' deployment of troops to the Middle East to help Saudi Arabia defend itself against Iran, senior Pentagon leaders said in a brief news conference late Friday afternoon," Defense One reports.

"The deployment will be 'defensive in nature' and primarily concentrated on air and missile defense, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dunford said, but provided no details about the precise number of troops to be sent," the publication reported. "Dunford said that the number would be 'not thousands.'”

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Dan Rather has advice for reporters covering ‘Trump extorting the Ukrainian government for his re-election’

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Veteran journalist Dan Rather on Friday offered advice for reporters covering the whistleblowing scandal involving President Donald Trump and Ukraine.

The former anchor for the CBS Evening News had also worked as the White House correspondent for CBS News during the presidency of Richard Nixon.

Rather made his comments after bombshell reports in The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post and New York Times on Friday.

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