Trump says Kim has agreed to complete denuclearization of peninsula

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US President Donald Trump holds up a document signed by him and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un following a signing ceremony during their historic summit Singapore on Tuesday, June 12. (AFP)
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US President Donald Trump, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, left, sign documents as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second right, and the North Korean leader's sister Kim Yo Jong, second left, look on during the signing ceremony on Tuesday, June 12. (AFP)
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North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) shaking hands with US President Donald Trump (R) as they sit down for the historic US-North Korea summit. (AFP)
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US President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on Tuesday. (REUTERS)
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US President Donald Trump (R) gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. (AFP)
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US President Donald Trump (R) gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 13 June 2018
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Trump says Kim has agreed to complete denuclearization of peninsula

  • Despite being quizzed by journalists several times, Trump was unable to give a clear deadline or a clear process of denuclearization
  • Trump told reporters that both leaders will pay courtesy calls to each other’s respective countries “at the appropriate time”
SINGAPORE: US President Donald Trump has confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has agreed to “an unwavering and complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” although there is no clear deadline for nuclear disarmament.
He made the statement during a press conference at the Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore on Tuesday.
The summit at a luxury hotel on the island of Sentosa saw the two leaders expressing their commitment to “vigorous negotiations to implement the agreement as soon as possible” at their first meeting.
Despite being quizzed by journalists several times, Trump was unable to give a clear deadline or a clear process of denuclearization.
However, Trump said that North Korea had already destroyed a major missile engine testing site and that it has not had a nuclear test for the past seven months. “When he lands, he would start the denuclearization process right away,” Trump told reporters.
Keith Fitzgerald, negotiation and conflict management expert and managing director of Sea-Change Partners, commented: “The Trump White House has not shared much information about their plans. If the White House had a strategy, it’s not clear to most analysts what that strategy was.”
Professor James Chin, director of the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania, agreed that the only strategy the denuclearization talks involved is “the willingness to compromise.”
“There will not be a comprehensive agreement, but it will be more like a roadmap to agreement, and perhaps a statement on the end of war,” added Prof. Chin.
Trump’s negotiating style is guided more by “his personal instincts” than by any strategy, added Fitzgerald. The Trump-Kim talks had gone from words about “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” to talk of making a good start, as the summit approached. Trump praised Kim for taking “the first bold step for a bright full future,” adding that the meeting with the North Korean leader was “honest, direct and productive.”
“He is very talented,” said Trump, adding that 26-year-old Kim was able to “run it tough.” North Korea is infamous for its human rights atrocities, including running a state-sanctioned gulag against its own citizens.
“He wants to do the right thing,” said Trump, adding that human rights were part of the discussion despite being discussed “relatively briefly”. In its 2018 report the Human Rights Watch described North Korea as “one of the most repressive authoritarian states in the world.”
Trump told reporters that both leaders will pay courtesy calls to each other’s respective countries “at the appropriate time.”
“It is a strange thing to see an American president have better relationships with North Korea and Russia than with Germany and Canada,” Fitzgerald told Arab News.
Before Trump’s press conference took place, a sleek, propaganda video resembling a big-budgeted Hollywood trailer was shown hailing Trump and Kim as heroes who would “advance” North Korea.
The video was made by a Los Angeles-based, award-winning production house Destiny Pictures, and commissioned by the US government.


Video emerges of Macron bodyguard beating protester in Paris

Updated 44 min 31 sec ago
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Video emerges of Macron bodyguard beating protester in Paris

PARIS: A video showing one of French President Emmanuel Macron’s security chiefs beating a student demonstrator, until now cloaked in secrecy, is drawing a fierce public backlash over what is seen as mild punishment and a possible cover-up.
The video of the May 1 event in Paris, revealed by Le Monde on Wednesday evening, shows Alexandre Benalla in a helmet with police markings, and surrounded by riot police, brutally dragging off a woman from a demonstration and then repeatedly beating a young man on the ground. The man is heard begging him to stop. Another man in civilian clothing pulled the young man to the ground.
Police, who had hauled the man from the crowd before Benalla took over, didn’t intervene. Benalla then left the scene. The second man was apparently a gendarme who Le Monde said had worked with Benalla in the past.
The uproar over Benalla’s punishment — a two-week suspension and a change in responsibilities — forced top French officials to address the issue Thursday. But Macron has remained silent. Benalla, who hasn’t commented on the matter, handled Macron’s security during the presidential campaign.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, responding to questions in the Senate, called the event “shocking,” but stumbled to respond to questions, notably whether all French are equal before the law.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said that the two men “obviously had no legitimate (reason) to intervene.” He said he has demanded that a police unit which investigates suspected criminal behavior by officers explain the rules for observers and verify whether they were respected.
Condemning the “unacceptable behavior,” Macron spokesman Bruno Roger-Petit said that Benalla was also removed from his responsibilities of organizing security for presidential trips — though he maintains his office at the Elysee Palace.
In addition, authorities launched a preliminary investigation that could lead to charges against Benalla, a judicial official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss an ongoing case.
Despite this, Benalla has been seen this month on the ground with police at several high-profile events, including the return home Monday of France’s champion World Cup team, an event attended by hundreds of thousands.
Macron, in the Dordogne region to officially launch a new postage stamp, didn’t respond to questions about the scandal. The upstart centrist elected last year had promised an exemplary presidency during his term to break with unending cases of corruption in French politics.
Roger-Petit said the punishment dealt out to Benalla was the “most serious” ever given to a top aide at the presidential Elysee Palace and served as a “last warning before dismissal.”
Opposition politicians expressed shock, with some denouncing a climate of impunity at the top of the French political hierarchy and asking Macron to personally address the issue.
The head of France’s main conservative party The Republicans, Laurent Wauquiez, asked on Europe 1 radio if the government was trying to “hush the affair.”
Roger-Petit stressed that Benalla had requested authorization to use his day off “to observe” security forces’ operations on May Day when marches are traditionally held. It was granted.
It was unclear why the young man under attack, who wasn’t detained, was singled out by police before Benalla intervened.
“An observer doesn’t act like that,” said the spokesman for the UNSA-Police union. They are typically equipped and briefed in advance, and the framework is “completely clear,” Philippe Capon told BFM-TV.
He couldn’t say why police didn’t stop Benalla.
The context was “special,” he said. “He was an observer from the Elysee. When police officials hear the word ‘Elysee’ there is a particular apprehension.”