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Trump sides with Kim criticism of US-South Korea war games

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US President Donald Trump told reporters Friday he agreed with Kim Jong Un’s opposition to US-South Korea war games, after receiving what he was a new letter from the North Korean leader.

“I got a very beautiful letter from Kim Jong Un yesterday,” Trump said. “It was a very positive letter.”

“He wasn’t happy with the war games,” Trump added, referring to new military exercises between US forces and the South Korean military that began this week.

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“As you know, I’ve never liked it either. I’ve never been a fan. And you know why? I don’t like paying for it,” the US leader said.

Trump received Kim’s three-page letter on Thursday after Pyongyang undertook four missile tests in the past two weeks that it said were a response to the joint exercises between the South and the United States.

While the weapons fired were not the medium- and long-range ballistic missiles that have posed an implicit threat to Japan and the United States, they were seen to be a new type of extremely fast, short-range guided ballistic missile that could pose a potent danger to South Korea.

On Tuesday North Korea threatened more weapons tests, and said the US-South Korea war games were “an undisguised denial and a flagrant violation” of the diplomatic process between Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul.

Trump continued to play down the missile tests and said he could have a third summit with Kim in the future.

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“I think we’ll have another meeting,” he said.

“In the meantime I’ll say it again. There have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-range. No ballistic missile tests, no long-range missiles,” he said.

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US-China trade deal gets tepid reception

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US officials announced a truce in the trade war with China with much fanfare, but economists and trade experts call it largely a victory for Beijing.

After a dispute that raged for close to two years, with several fumbled efforts at a resolution, the US agreed to cancel planned tariffs and rollback others immediately, without a similar commitment from China to lift tariffs it imposed on the US.

"Pardon me if I don't pop champagne, but aside from a cessation of continued escalation, there is not much worth cheering," leading China expert Scott Kennedy said in an analysis of the agreement.

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Is Donald Trump a supporter of Israel? Sure — he’s also an anti-Semite

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On Wednesday, Jared Kushner, who is both a White House senior adviser and President Trump's son-in-law, published an op-ed article in The New York Times defending the president's recent executive order supposedly meant to combat anti-Semitism. The controversial measure will establish that "Title VI of the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on race, color or national origin covers discrimination against Jews" and defines anti-Semitism using the language of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

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2020 Election

We should look closely at Britain’s decision to elect a man so renowned for his untrustworthiness

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In previous British elections, to say that trust was the main issue would have meant simply that trust is the trump card – whichever leader or party could secure most trust would win. Now, the emerging question about trust is whether it even matters anymore.

This is at least partly because Brexit has deepened the crisis of trust. The 2019 election was always going to be about Brexit – and not only because some people would vote according to where they stood on the matter. It was also because the emotional turbulence initiated by the 2016 referendum continues to dominate national politics in a more general way.

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