Saturday, 16 June 2018

What's next for The Trump-Kim Summit

Update 20 Jun 2018: China's Xi praises North Korea's Kim for Trump summit, promises support
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju pose beside Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan in Beijing, China, in this undated photo released June 20, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency. KCNA via REUTERS

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered high praise to visiting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, lauding the "positive" outcome of his historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump and promising unwavering friendship. Meeting Kim on his third trip to China this year, and just a week after Kim met Trump in Singapore on June 12, Xi said China was willing to keep playing a positive role to promote the peace process on the Korean peninsula.

Kim's visit was the latest in a flurry of diplomatic contacts, and unlike during his previous two visits to China, the government announced his presence while he was in the country rather than waiting for him to leave. Xi told Kim he was very happy to see the "positive" outcome of his meeting with Trump, and the important consensus reached on denuclearisation and setting up a lasting peace mechanism, according to Chinese state television. "No matter the changes in the international and regional situation, China's party and government's resolute position on being dedicated to consolidating and developing Sino-North Korea relations will not change," the report cited Xi as saying.

"The Chinese people's friendship for the North Korean people will not change, and China's support for socialist North Korea will not change," Xi added. Kim told Xi he hoped to work with China and other parties to push the peace process, Chinese state television said.

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Easy as A, B, Xi: China gives economic lessons to North Korea
Relations between China and North Korea have experienced a renaissance in recent months

Chinese President Xi Jinping has coached his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un on high-stakes diplomacy. Now he seems poised to give the young autocrat another lesson: how to reform a state-controlled economy while keeping an iron grip on power.

Beijing has long pushed for Pyongyang to adopt similar measures to those that fuelled China's dizzying ascent from a communist backwater to one of the world's largest trading powers.

But while the highly secretive, nuclear-armed North has been quietly carrying out economic reforms for some time, officially it still promotes the merits of its system and denounces the evils of capitalism.

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World reaction to Trump-Kim declaration

Countries and organisations around the world are responding to Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un's historic agreement in Singapore:
  • CHINA - Beijing suggested the UN Security Council could consider suspending or lifting sanctions against North Korea if Pyongyang is in compliance with UN resolutions and making progress in diplomatic negotiations.
  • JAPAN - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed Kim's written commitment to complete denuclearisation.
  • SOUTH KOREA - President Moon Jae-in vowed to write "new history" with North Korea, praising Kim's decision to hold the summit with the US.
  • RUSSIA - Russia gave a positive assessment of the deal between Trump and Kim, but "the devil is in the detail", TASS news agency reported.
  • EUROPEAN UNION - Federica Mogherini, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs, said the summit demonstrated that diplomacy paved the way forward to peace in the region.
  • BRITAIN - Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement: "We welcome that President Trump and Kim Jong Un have held a constructive summit, this is an important step towards the stability of a region vital to global economic growth.
  • UNITED NATIONS - Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said his agency "stands ready to undertake any verification activities that it may be requested to conduct by the countries concerned".
  • IRAN - The Iranian government warned the US president could nullify any nuclear deal.
  • MALAYSIA - New prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, on a visit to Tokyo, said: "Both sides must be prepared to give in certain issues if they expect to reach a good conclusion."
  • INDIA - The foreign ministry said in a statement that it hoped for complete implementation of the agreement, "thus paving the way for lasting peace and stability in the Korean peninsula".

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France alarmed after Trump ‘practically hugged’ Kim

Trump’s critics have seized on his warm embrace of Kim, days after a spectacular bust-up with G7 allies, as the latest sign of his rapport with autocrats. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian criticised Donald Trump’s “destabilising” foreign policy on Wednesday after the US leader fell out with historic US allies then “practically hugged” North Korea’s dictator in a matter of days.

Le Drian said Tuesday’s historic summit between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un was “an undoubted step forward”, but he expressed concern about the US president’s diplomatic manoeuvres.

“In the space of just a day you see President Trump attacking Mr Trudeau who is a historic ally, and you see President Trump breaking with his collective allies after the G7 meeting in Quebec, and the next day practically hugged a dictator born into a Communist dictatorship which just a few days ago he said he was completely opposed to,” he said. “We are in a destabilising situation,” Le Drian told CNews television.

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North Korea frames summit as a win as Trump halts war games
People look at the display of local newspaper reporting the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un & US President Donald Trump, at a subway station in Pyongyang, North Korea on Jun 13, 2018. (Photo: AP/Kyodo News, Minoru Iwasaki)

North Korean state media lauded on Wed (Jun 13) the summit between Kim Jong Un & Donald Trump as a resounding success, highlighting concessions by the US president and the prospect of a new era of peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.

According to a report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Trump expressed his intention to halt US-South Korea joint military exercises, offer security guarantees to the North and lift sanctions against it as relations improve.

The US president had said in a news conference on Tuesday he would like to lift sanctions against North Korea but it would not happen immediately.

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North Korea's Kim hails 'unity' with China in new visit

Kim Jong Un declared North Korea's unstinting "friendship, unity & co-operation" with Beijing during his third visit to China this year, in a show of loyalty to his main ally following a landmark summit with US President Donald Trump.

The 2-day visit which ends Wednesday is designed to reassure Beijing that Pyongyang will not neglect its interests as Trump and the young autocrat move into uncharted diplomatic terrain.

The performance is part of a delicate balancing act for Kim, who analysts say is seeking to play US and Chinese interests off each other while maintaining good relations with Beijing, his economic patron and diplomatic protector.

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Full text of Trump-Kim agreement
President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have ended their summit by signing a historic agreement. Here is the full text of the agreement they signed, as released by the White House.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:
  • The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
  • The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
  • Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  • The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
Having acknowledged that the U.S.-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance and overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously.

The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations led by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.-DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.

DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America

KIM JONG UN, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

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4 winners and 4 losers from the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore
Kim Jong Un is the big winner. South Korea is a loser

The Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un summit in Singapore is over. It ended with a largely vague declaration of principles, a series of photo ops, and a surprise: Trump’s announcement that he would suspend military exercises with South Korea as a gesture of goodwill to the North Koreans, a move that the government in Seoul wasn’t informed of before it was made.

So now it’s time to look at the big questions about the summit. What really happened? Did the US and North Korea each get what they wanted? And is the world a better or worse place for this having happened?

To try to answer these questions, we’ve put together a list of winners and losers from the meeting: which people and governments came out in a better position than they were in before the talks, and who was hurt by the way things shook down. Some of them are clear — Kim did astonishingly well — while others, like North Korea’s many political prisoners, were hurt in large part by not being mentioned very much at all.
  • Winner: Kim Jong Un
  • Winner and loser: Donald Trump
  • Winners: Dennis Rodman and PotCoin
  • Loser: suffering North Koreans
  • Loser: South Korea
  • Loser: John Bolton

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Trump just struck a shockingly weak deal with North Korea
Art of the giveaway: Trump offers huge concessions to Kim for little in return. Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un resulted in a fairly big set of concessions to North Korea, experts say. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The historic meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is over — and Trump thinks it went really well.

During a lengthy press conference, Trump hailed the historic summit on Tuesday as “very successful,” and praised Kim as having a “great personality.” He also called the agreement that they signed the start of a new era in North Korea’s relationship with the world. “We’re prepared to start a new history, and we’re ready to write a new chapter between our nations,” the US president added.

The agreement, in which both countries commit to working toward peace and “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, reduces tensions between the US and North Korea to the lowest they’ve been since Trump assumed office.

related: Full text of Trump-Kim agreement

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Trump Was Outfoxed in Singapore
It sure looks as if President Trump was hoodwinked in Singapore

Trump made a huge concession — the suspension of military exercises with South Korea. That’s on top of the broader concession of the summit meeting itself, security guarantees he gave North Korea and the legitimacy that the summit provides his counterpart, Kim Jong-un.

Within North Korea, the “very special bond” that Trump claimed to have formed with Kim will be portrayed this way: Kim forced the American president, through his nuclear and missile tests, to accept North Korea as a nuclear equal, to provide security guarantees to North Korea, and to cancel war games with South Korea that the North has protested for decades. In exchange for these concessions, Trump seems to have won astonishingly little. In a joint statement, Kim merely “reaffirmed” the same commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula that North Korea has repeatedly made since 1992.

“They were willing to de-nuke,” Trump crowed at his news conference after his meetings with Kim. Trump seemed to believe he had achieved some remarkable agreement, but the concessions were all his own.

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North Korea’s Kim Is Big Winner of Singapore Summit but Trump Comes Up Short

Pyongyang tyrant gains legitimacy and respect from U.S. president without giving up anything new or tangible in return

Menachem Begin famously said, “The hardships of peace are preferable to the sufferings of war.”

In this regard, the Singapore summit on Tuesday between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim.

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Kim Jong-un came out victorious from the summit
US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un leave after signing documents at their summit at the Capella Hotel in Singapore on June 12, 2018 [Reuters/Jonathan Ernst]

After months of nail-biting anticipation, US President Donald Trump held an historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un.

The city-state of Singapore, a mercantile nation that has maintained robust ties with both sides throughout the years, hosted the two leaders at the luxurious Capella Hotel on Sentosa island.

Singapore spent close to $15m to cover the North Korean leader's accommodation, logistics of the meetings, as well as overall security for the two world leaders. International sanctions made it difficult for Kim to cover his overseas accommodation.

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Kim Jong Un pulls off a magic trick

Credit President Trump for seizing the diplomatic moment at the Singapore summit. But the person who most shaped this extraordinary encounter was North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — who is indeed, as Trump said Tuesday, a “very talented” young man who has achieved something that “one out of 10,000 probably couldn’t do.”

It’s almost a magic trick, what Kim has accomplished: He has obtained Trump as a partner in rebranding his poor, brutally autocratic country as a modern condo-resort investment project. He has offered a vague promise to “work toward complete denuclearization” and somehow persuaded Trump to describe the thin, half-page summit communique as a “very comprehensive” agreement.

Perhaps this deal will lead eventually to the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization the president had proclaimed was his goal. But for now, Kim has given up very little militarily, in return for a public embrace from the world’s most powerful nation. Most important, Kim has received, again at minimal cost, a pledge that the United States will halt joint military exercises with South Korea, undercutting the most significant check against his regime.

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What is next for North Korea after the Singapore summit?

After weeks of uncertainty about the planned US-North Korea summit, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed a "comprehensive" document. Kim claimed that "the world will see a major change", while Trump described him as "a very talented man" who "loved his country very much", and appeared willing to invite him to visit the White House.

The document apparently embodies four pillars:

  • the two sides commit to establishing "new … relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity";
  • they will "join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula";
  • North Korea reaffirms the "April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration …[and] commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula;"
  • they "commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified".

Follow-up negotiations are also planned under the agreement. The possibility of a deal was signalled by Kim Jong-un at the beginning of the summit when he said, "The old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward, but we've overcome all of them, and we are here today."

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Was the Trump-Kim summit a huge success or a colossal failure?

It actually happened. President Trump and Kim Jong Un met in Singapore on Monday evening, marking the first time that a sitting U.S. leader has met face-to-face with a member of the dynasty that rules North Korea. Though their meeting was brief and the commitments they made vague, there's no doubting that history was made.

But will the Trump-Kim summit come to be seen as the dawn of a new, positive era in relations between North Korea and the United States? Or is this just another blip along the road from a president whose crude foreign policy ethos — assuming he has one — was recently summed up by a White House official as, “We're America, bitch”?

For now, the summit seems to be a Rorschach test, splitting opinions about its significance and impact along often-predictable lines. Among the Korea-watching crowd, the verdict appears largely negative. Andrei Lankov, a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul and a well-respected expert on North Korea, offered one of the harshest takes: “We expected it would be a flop, but it’s floppier than anything we expected. The [post-summit] declaration is pretty much meaningless.”

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Trump to Suspend Military Exercises on Korean Peninsula

President Trump said Tuesday that he was suspending military exercises on the Korean Peninsula and that he expected the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to move “very quickly” to dismantle his nuclear arsenal after a day of discussions in Singapore.

But Mr. Trump said economic sanctions against North Korea would remain in place.

The summit meeting was the first of its kind between a sitting American president and a leader of North Korea, and it ended in a joint statement that opened the door to ending seven decades of hostility between the two countries.

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Trump-Kim summit: world scrambles to decipher 'denuclearisation' deal – as it happened
We’re going to wrap up our live coverage for the day

As Donald Trump continues to fly home from his summit in Singapore with Kim Jong-un, political allies of the president are struggling a bit to get on the same page in describing what Trump agreed to.

Trump has ordered the suspension of US military exercises with South Korea, in a surprise concession to Kim.

In return, Kim signed a joint statement committing to denuclearisation, but it was a vaguely worded commitment that the regime has made several times before over the past three decades.

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The ‘dotard’ meets ‘Little Rocket Man’: Trump and Kim are adversaries with many similarities

One is a septuagenarian American president, the other a millennial North Korean dictator. But each has nuclear weapons and mixes taunts and tributes to keep the other off balance. Thin-skinned alphas, both men are wedded to a go-it-alone leadership style, have a penchant for bombast and are determined to project dominance when they finally meet.

As President Trump prepares for his summit here Tuesday with Kim Jong Un, he sees some of himself in the authoritarian North Korean: an un­or­tho­dox and sometimes feared figure who distrusts the established world order and has a thirst to make history.

Publicly, Trump has labeled Kim “Little Rocket Man” and in private with aides has called him “a crazy guy.” Kim, in turn, has called Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard,” a word suggesting senility.

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From ‘dotard’ and ‘rocket man’ to a summit

From threatening to destoy each other’s country’s, to a historic meet-and-greet, the relationship between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, has been one filled with fluctuations.

Nearly one year ago, Trump referred to Kim as “little rocket man.” And in retaliation, Kim threatened to send missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam, and called Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”

But the emotional rollercoaster seems to have to come to a stop (at least for now) as the two leaders meet for a historic summit in Singapore on Tuesday morning.

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The Rocket Man and the Dotard

For some, 2018 has been a year of disappointing clarity. Speaking from his hotel suite by Lake Zurich, billionaire patron of liberal causes George Soros lamented the fate of the globalized world. "Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong," he said.

His favored presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost to President Donald Trump, whose "America First" platform runs counter to the globalism Soros embraces. Trump, he said, "is willing to destroy the world." The European Union, which Soros once hoped would be so successful that he could end his charitable work in the region, is contending with the impending loss of Britain and a rise of anti-immigrant sentiment. And Soros himself has emerged as a political target in elections from Hungary to California, where his donations have been used as a cudgel against the causes he supports.

Though Soros defiantly vowed to double down on his efforts despite setbacks, Reihan Salam of The Atlantic is willing to consider the alternative: maybe globalization itself, or at least the way it was implemented, was a big mistake. Salam argues it facilitated Beijing's entry into corporate networks which now constitute "Chimerica," the meld of multinational corporations with "China-centric supply chains" that, like Frankenstein's monster, Washington can no longer rid themselves of.

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'Little Rocket Man' vs. 'deranged U.S. dotard'

The historic moment that could define President Trump’s legacy has arrived: he became the first sitting American president to meet face-to-face with a North Korean leader. Trump’s team says the president is “fully prepared” for the meeting and that he's ready to negotiate mano-a-mano with North Korea’s nuclear-armed autocrat, whom Trump only recently derided as "Little Rocket Man."

For his part, Kim Jong Un reportedly prepared for the sit-down by bringing his own toilet along — a move intended to thwart spies willing to go the extra mile to get an inside look the Supreme Leader. Will Kim be willing to give up his nukes? Experts are skeptical. Trump is looking for a foreign policy win after alienating allies at last week's G-7 meeting in Quebec. 

American and North Korean leaders come face-to-face. Kim even brought his own toilet.

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‘Dotard’ meets ‘Rocket Man’

US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un came together for a momentous summit Tuesday that could determine historic peace or raise the specter of a growing nuclear threat, with Trump pledging that “working together we will get it taken care of.”

In a meeting that seemed unthinkable just months ago, the leaders met at a Singapore island resort, shaking hands warmly in front of a row of alternating U.S. and North Korean flags. They then moved into a roughly 45-minute one-on-one meeting, joined only by their interpreters, before including their advisers.

For all the upbeat talk, it remained to be seen what, if any, concrete results the sit-down would produce.

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Dan Rather gives President Trump props for talking peace with North Korea instead of making war ... but adds, so far, Kim Jong-un's the only one who's won anything out of the summit.

The CBS news icon told us Tuesday in NYC, he's hopeful -- but still skeptical -- the summit will be a win for the United States. He says N. Korea's supreme leader's already rung up a big W, while all Trump has up to this point is a great photo op.

As for all that talk about POTUS winning a Nobel Peace Prize? Rather basically says, let's put a pin in that ... for now. 

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President Trump and Kim Jong-un's handshake heard around the world also happened to take place on some pretty pricey rug -- and it was all footed by the U.S. Government -- TMZ has learned.

According to federal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- that document lodging and other expenses for the trip ... the American Embassy in Singapore is on the hook for about $162k. About $151k of that pertains to costs incurred at the Shangri-La Hotel, where the U.S. delegation, including the Prez, stayed leading up to the face-to-face.

An additional $12,000 was charged to cover the carpets used for Trump's meeting with Kim at the Capella Hotel.

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Best photos from Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un's meeting in Singapore

US President Donald Trump waves from Air Force One after the historic US-North Korea Summit in Singapore

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Trump exchanges insults with Robert De Niro after leaving Singapore

Hours after industriously attempting to make peace in Singapore, US president Donald Trump decided to call actor Robert De Niro “a very low IQ individual” via Twitter.

He was responding to a remark De Niro made at the Tony Awards ceremony, held on Jun 10 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, in which the actor, while introducing a performance by Bruce Springsteen, declared, “It's no longer 'Down with Trump,' it's 'F*** Trump.'" This was greeted with a standing ovation by the audience.

While flying out of Singapore early this morning, Trump tweeted: “Robert De Niro, a very Low IQ individual, has received to (sic) many shots to the head by real boxers in movies. I watched him last night and truly believe he may be 'punch-drunk.' I guess he doesn't realize the economy is the best it's ever been with employment being at an all time high, and many companies pouring back into our country. Wake up Punchy!”

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Donald Trump Calls Justin Trudeau 'Indignant' Ahead Of 1st Official Visit To Canada

As if on cue, Trump responded on Thursday night:
"Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant," the president's Twitter account stated. "...But he doesn't bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!"
Trudeau made the remarks a day before he was scheduled to host G7 leaders, including Trump, in the Quebec town of La Malbaie.

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Potty prep: North Korea's Kim Jong Un brings his own toilet to Singapore summit with Trump

North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore for his summit with President Trump with security on his mind — dispatching decoy planes from Pyongyang to thwart anyone who might try to attack him and packing his own food for his visit to try to prevent poisoning.

The North Korean leader is also apparently taking defensive measures to prevent intelligence agencies from trying to glean information about his health: He’s packed his own toilet. The regime dispatched a commode to “deny determined sewer divers insights into to the supreme leader's stools,” The Chosunilbo, one of South Korea’s biggest circulated newspapers, reports.

It’s not unusual for the hermetic kingdom’s leader to travel with his own toilet in his infrequent travels.

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Kim Jong Un brought his own toilet to the Singapore summit -- and he takes it everywhere

So, why does Kim Jong Un always travel with several lavatories at his disposal? According the The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, the portable toilets "will deny determined sewer divers insights into to the supreme leader's stools." The secrecy of the North Korean leader's health is, apparently, paramount.

"Rather than using a public restroom, the leader of North Korea has a personal toilet that follows him around when he travels," Lee Yun-keol, a former member of a North Korean Guard Command unit who defected, told the Washington Post in 2005. Lee explained, "The leader's excretions contain information about his health status so they can't be left behind." Kim's urine and faecal matter are periodically examined to check for illnesses and other health indicators, according to Daily NK.

US-North Korean relations have seemingly come a long way in the last few months - it was only January when a top authority on North Korea suggested that the US should bomb Kim Jong Un's personal toilet to put fear in him. "It will send an unmistakable message: We can kill you while you are dropping a deuce," Jeffrey Lewis wrote.

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At least 9 South Koreans involved in separate protests in Singapore; five of them deported
(Three of the four South Koreans who were involved in a protest near Capella on the day of the Trump-Kim summit on 12 June, 2018. They were later advised by the police to disperse. PHOTO: Wong Casandra/Yahoo News Singapore)

At least nine South Koreans staged protests in venues linked to the Trump-Kim summit this week, with five of them arrested under the Public Order Act and deported on Wednesday (13 June).

In response to media queries, the police said on Wednesday that in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, they have administered a stern warning to the five South Koreans – all women – following the quintet’s arrest on Monday.

Their visit passes were also cancelled and they have been repatriated to South Korea on Wednesday evening, added the police.

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South Korean women arrested near St Regis hotel for holding protests
A screengrab of a video showing a tussle between South Korean women and the police. (Screengrab: Facebook/Today)

5 South Korean women were arrested on Monday night (Jun 11) near St Regis, the hotel where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un & his delegation were staying in Singapore prior to a meeting with US President Donald Trump.

The 5 women, who had protest placards with them, were arrested along Tanglin Road at about 9.10pm, police said in a statement. The police told the women not to carry out any protest activities.

"During the engagement, they refused to cooperate with the police, became rowdy & started to shout. Despite police's repeated warnings, the group continued shouting and were subsequently arrested," police said. The women also "struggled" & were "uncooperative" during the arrest, police added.

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5 South Korean protesters arrested near St Regis hotel under Public Order Act
Police detain South Korean protesters across St Regis on June 11, 2018 in this still image taken from video

Amid the frenzy surrounding the historic Trump-Kim summit, 5 South Korean protesters were arrested on Monday night (June 11) after they failed to heed multiple warnings from the police to stop their activities, while another group of 4 was advised on Tuesday not to hold protest activities at Sentosa.

The police told TODAY that they arrested five South Korean women under the Public Order Act along Tanglin Road at about 9.10pm on Monday. The commotion had occurred close to the St Regis Singapore hotel, where North Korean leader Kim Jong-un & his delegation were staying.

On Monday night, TODAY reported that screams were heard around 9pm in front of the Crab in Da Bag food outlet along Nassim Road, which is diagonally across the street from the St Regis. The women were seen embroiled in a fracas with police officers. They appeared to be resisting arrest and were heard shouting in Korean.

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5 South Korean women arrested for causing trouble in special zone in Orchard Road
The arrest was within a "smaller, even more restricted special zone" within the enhanced security special event area. ST FOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

5 South Koreans were arrested on Monday night (June 11) for causing trouble in Orchard Road, a special zone demarcated for the Trump-Kim Summit.

The group of women were arrested at the junction of Tanglin Road & Nassim Road at around 9.10pm, near The St Regis Singapore hotel where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was staying. Mr Kim was on his way to visit Marina Bay Sands and the Gardens by the Bay then.

The arrest was within a "smaller, even more restricted special zone" within the enhanced security special event area, which featured tighter security than other areas owing to the closeness to where both Mr Kim & US President Donald Trump were staying, police said in response to queries from The Straits Times.

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Group of four South Koreans held up banners

In a separate incident on Tuesday near the Capella hotel, a group of 4 South Koreans held up banners asking for the remaining hostages from the Korean War to be freed.

The police told TODAY the two men and two women were seen along Artillery Avenue at about 11am and officers advised them not to carry out protest activities there.

"They heeded the police's advice & left the location," a spokesperson said.

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Kim Jong-un goes on downtown tour

Screams were heard around 9pm in front of the Crab in Da Bag food outlet along Nassim Road, which is diagonally across the street from the hotel.

When TODAY arrived at the scene, at least 3 people — including a woman with a backpack — were seen embroiled in a fracas with police officers. They appeared to be resisting arrest, & were heard shouting in Korean.

The tussle with police officers drew curious onlookers and journalists who were awaiting the departure of Mr Kim for his evening tour. A policeman then approached the media, including TODAY, & requested that they stop filming as the trio were "under investigation", & to move away from the spot.

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Japanese national seen selling North Korean books outside St Regis
Mr Miyagawa Jun from Japan laid out flags, books & pins for sale on the steps of Tanglin Place.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

A Japanese national laid out flags, books & pins for sale on the steps of Tanglin Place, next to The St Regis Singapore hotel, on Monday (June 11) from noon to about 2pm.

The books ranged from Pyongyang guidebooks to those on North Korean folklore & humour.

Mr Miyagawa Jun, 63, had flags of the United States & North Korea for sale.

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Man lashes out at S’pore police outside St Regis about S$20 million Trump-Kim summit cost
This video has been making the rounds on Facebook and chat apps in Singapore since Sunday night, June 10

The bearded, middle-aged man in sunglasses was caught on video gesticulating and shouting at the police, who appeared to ask him to take a different route.

However, his response to the police officer can be described as online ranting carried into real-life.

Other pedestrians seen in the video looked on puzzled.

Denied Permit to Protest During Trump-Kim Summit

The Community Action Network has been denied a permit to conduct a one person public assembly because it did not make an application 14 working days in advance. Under the Public Order Act, all cause related and political assemblies, even if it involves just one person, requires a permit if they are done outside of Hong Lim Park, the only state sanctioned area for public protests. Failure to do so may result in fines or jail sentences.

As historic peace talks get underway on Sentosa island, we wanted to draw attention to the fact that Sentosa was where former political prisoner Dr Chia Thye Poh was held under house arrest after being “released” from a 23-year detention without trial.

The Public Order Act’s imposition of such onerous conditions runs counter to what is acceptable under international laws and standards. Its purpose is to severely restrict rather than to facilitate the peaceful exercise of our rights to freedom of assembly and expression. Requiring 14 working days prior notification prevents citizens from responding to important social and political issues in a timely way.

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Singapore authorities deny permit to activists who want to hold ‘protest’ during Trump-Kim summit

Civil rights group Community Action Network (CAN) had planned to hold a protest of sorts at Hong Lim Park, ahead of the historic meeting between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their permit was denied by local authorities.

But CAN is not objecting to the US-North Korea summit, due to take place on June 12 at the luxurious Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa. Rather, the group had wanted to raise awareness to the fact that the island off the country’s southern coast was the location where former political prisoner Dr. Chia Thye Poh was detained in house arrest without trial.

According to CAN, the group’s permit to hold the public assembly was rejected on grounds that it did not make an application 14 working days in advance.

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Netizens upset that Singapore agrees to bear costs of stay for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Not surprisingly, Netizens have voiced unhappiness over this decision:
  • One Tan Lii Chong said  on the Yahoo! Singapore Facebook page "Why Should our money use to foot the bill? I prefer the amount to use in helping the poor the underprivileged.  I rather the nation not to host the event just to be famous".
  • Qi Siang Ng felt that hosting two infamous leaders was" Not worth the money. They should be paying Singapore for tolerating the presence of a racist and an international criminal. And they expect us to pay for his party? "
  • Ah Huat Yeo questioned the motives of doing so: “The cost will be a lot more than that. Two nuke armed snorlaxes and our local queen here, who would take the centre stage? Highly doubt that our queen will not want to be in the limelight even though is none of his business.
  • Another Raymond Lee commented: “Why use tax payers money to pay for this unrelated summit, either they pay themselves or they go somewhere else to meet. This summit is also inviting for trouble to our peaceful island”.
Do you agree?

Where was President Halimah Yacob during the high profile Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un meeting?

Singapore’s head of state was missing even at her own residence in Istana. The Indian-turned-Malay President had to deliberately vacate her own residence when Lee Hsien Loong separately hosted lunch with Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

The Istana, in the Malay language means “Malay palace”. However at both lunches, Lee Hsien Loong brought only Chinese and Indian Singaporeans to the table. How embarrassing is it going to a Malay palace without seeing a single Malay. The issue is made worse when lower-ranked officials and ministers with no involvement with foreign affairs were chosen over Halimah Yacob. The Singapore President could have taken the place of Law Minister K Shanmugam, Deputy PM Tharman Shanmugaratnam and National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, but the S$1.5 million-a-year Halimah Yacob was not chosen.

Lee Hsien Loong’s decision to leave Halimah Yacob is open to speculation, but this appears to be passive racism. The Singapore Prime Minister nonetheless need to be questioned, like whether if he perceives Halimah Yacob’s hijab a poor representation to Singapore.

Meeting with US President Donald Trump

At the State Lunch with US President at the Istana on Sunday, PM Lee Hsien Loong was flanked by 4 very senior Indian Ministers from his Cabinet. 2 on each side - S Ishwaran & Vivian Balakrishnan on his left and Tharman Shanmugaratnam & K Shanmugam on his right.

US President Donald Trump was more confused - now he realised that Singapore is not part of China but part of India.

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