Trump downplays abuses by Kim Jong Un’s regime

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un listens to US President Donald Trump as they meet in a one-on-one bilateral session at the start of their summit on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore, on June 12, 2018. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files)
Updated 14 June 2018
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Trump downplays abuses by Kim Jong Un’s regime

  • According to Trump’s own State Department, Kim’s regime holds between 80,000 and 120,000 political prisoners in forced labor camps, facing torture and forced starvation.

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump downplayed abuses by Kim Jong Un’s regime in an interview following his summit with the North Korean leader, saying that other countries had also done “bad things.”
“A lot of other people (have) done some really bad things. I mean, I could go through a lot of nations where a lotta bad things were done,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News.
He praised Kim as “a very smart guy” and “a great negotiator,” saying that “I think we understand each other.”
According to Trump’s own State Department, Kim’s regime holds between 80,000 and 120,000 political prisoners in forced labor camps, facing torture and forced starvation.
As well as abuses at home, Kim is also suspected of ordering the assassination of his brother at a Malaysian airport last year.
Trump and Kim met in Singapore on Tuesday — an unprecedented encounter that saw the leader of the world’s most powerful democracy shake hands with the third generation scion of a dynastic dictatorship, standing as equals in front of their nations’ flags.
Critics have charged the summit legitimized Kim and said the summit was more about headlines than substantive progress.
Trump also had kind words for Chinese President Xi Jinping in the interview, describing him as “an incredible guy” and noting that he is “essentially president for life. That’s pretty good.”


Britain condemns Israel bias at UN rights council

Updated 25 min 12 sec ago
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Britain condemns Israel bias at UN rights council

  • British foreign secretary Boris Johnson criticized the council’s controversial Agenda Item 7, a permanent fixture on the schedule exclusively devoted to discussing rights abuses in the Palestinian Territories.
  • Johnson noted however that the council had an important role to play in “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under the right agenda item.”

GENEVA: Britain on Monday urged the UN Human Rights Council to reform its treatment of Israel, joining the United States in demanding an end to the body’s alleged bias against the Jewish State.
Addressing the opening of the 38th council session, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson criticized the council’s controversial Agenda Item 7, a permanent fixture on the schedule exclusively devoted to discussing rights abuses in the Palestinian Territories.
“We share the view that the dedicated Agenda Item 7 focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace, and unless things change we shall vote next year against all resolutions introduced under Item 7,” Johnson said.
Israel is the only country with a dedicated council item.
Washington, some European countries and Australia have sided with Israel in condemning Item 7 as prejudiced, noting that countries with arguably worse rights records in recent years, like Syria are spared such intense scrutiny.
While previous US administrations have criticized Item 7, President Donald Trump’s government has raised the prospect of withdrawing from the council unless it is scrapped.
Johnson noted however that the council had an important role to play in “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under the right agenda item.”
Each council session includes an agenda item on so-called country specific situations, known as Agenda Item 4, where debates on the crises in Syria, Burundi and others typically take place.