North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, Russia in this undated photo released on April 25, 2019 by North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS
April 25, 2019
By Joyce Lee
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said peace and security on the Korean Peninsula will entirely depend on future U.S. attitude, state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Friday.
Kim’s remarks are seen as keeping pressure on the United States to be “more flexible” in accepting Pyongyang’s demands to ease sanctions, compared to the U.S. stance during his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi in February which broke down, as Kim said earlier this month.
Kim said at the time he will wait “until the end of this year” for the United States to become more flexible.
“The situation on the Korean Peninsula and the region is now at a standstill and has reached a critical point where it may return to its original state as the U.S. took a unilateral attitude in bad faith at the recent second DPRK-U.S. summit talks,” KCNA reported Kim saying, using North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The DPRK will gird itself for every possible situation.” Kim added.
Kim invited Putin to North Korea at a convenient time and Putin accepted, KCNA said.
The first face-to-face talks between Putin and Kim, held on an island off the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok on Thursday, did not appear to have yielded any major breakthrough.
Russia and North Korea agreed to more closely promote mutual understanding and bonds, and boost strategic collaboration for ensuring regional peace and security, KCNA said.
Putin said afterward he thought a deal on Pyongyang’s nuclear program was possible and that the way to get there was to move forward step by step in order to build trust.
But any U.S. guarantees might need to be supported by the other nations involved in previous six-way talks on the nuclear issue, Putin said, which was seen as a way to use the summit to strengthen Russia’s diplomatic clout as a global player.
Russia and North Korea agreed to take measures to further cooperate in trade, economy, science and technology, KCNA said.
(Reporting by Joyce Lee and Hyonhee Shin in Seoul; Editing by Chris Reese and James Dalgleish)
President Donald Trump is denying he ever ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump’s comments came in a pair of tweets on Thursday morning.
He wrote: “As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire (special counsel) Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself. Nevertheless,….
“….Mueller was NOT fired and was respectfully allowed to finish his work on what I, and many others, say was an illegal investigation (there was no crime), headed by a Trump hater who was highly conflicted, and a group of 18 VERY ANGRY Democrats. DRAIN THE SWAMP!”
McGahn had refused to carry out Trump’s order to fire the special counsel “for fear of being seen as triggering another ‘Saturday night massacre,’” according to Mueller’s report.
Source: NewsMax Politics
Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speak to the media at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
April 25, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department’s inspector general has concluded that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan did not seek preferential treatment of Boeing Co, his former employer, while at the Pentagon, a U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday.
The decision potentially opens the door for U.S. President Donald Trump to nominate Shanahan to be the next defense secretary.
Officials close to Shanahan have said they believe one of the main reasons he has not been nominated yet was because of the inspector general’s investigation. Trump has had numerous opportunities during the past few months to nominate him but has not yet done so.
Shanahan, 56, who spent more than three decades at Boeing, is the longest serving acting defense secretary ever. He took over at the Pentagon on Jan. 1 after Jim Mattis resigned amid policy differences with Trump.The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the inspector general found no evidence of wrongdoing and could put out the report publicly as early as Thursday.
The inspector general started the investigation in March after a watchdog group filed a complaint alleging Shanahan promoted aerospace firm Boeing in meetings and disparaged competitors.
The investigation was based on a complaint filed by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, which said Shanahan had appeared to violate the ethical rules by “promoting Boeing in the scope of his official duties at the Department of Defense (DOD) and disparaging the company’s competitors to his subordinates.”
(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Makini Brice; Editing by Susan Heavey and Bill Trott)
U.S. President Donald Trump departs after delivering remarks at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
April 25, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he had never ordered his White House counsel at the time, Donald McGahn, to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as described in the report Mueller wrote about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
“As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The Democratic chairman of the House judiciary panel has issued a subpoena for McGahn to testify and provide documents to the committee, but it is not clear whether the White House will comply. Trump has vowed to fight every subpoena from House Democrats probing his administration.
(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)