Donald Trump says he is looking forward to second Putin meeting

US President Donald Trump walks from Marine One as he arrives on the South Lawn of the White House, July 18, 2018. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
Updated 19 July 2018
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Donald Trump says he is looking forward to second Putin meeting

  • Trump has struggled to quiet a political uproar over his failure at Monday’s summit in Helsinki to confront Putin
  • Trump drew a barrage of criticism in the United States, including from lawmakers in both parties

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed forces within the United States on Thursday for marring what they called the success of their first summit, with Trump saying he looked forward to their second meeting.
Trump, who has struggled to quiet a political uproar over his failure at Monday’s summit in Helsinki to confront Putin over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election, renewed his fierce criticism of one of his favorite targets, the news media.
The Republican president accused the media of distorting comments in which he gave credence to Putin’s denials of election interference despite the conclusions of the American intelligence community about Moscow’s conduct.
“The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyberattacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more,” Trump said.
Trump drew a barrage of criticism in the United States, including from lawmakers in both parties, after he refused to blame Putin for the election meddling. Putin has denied such interference.
The Republican president later said he had misspoken and accused “some people” of hating the fact that he got along with Putin.
In Moscow, Putin accused forces in the United States of trying to undermine the success of his meeting with Trump, but said the two leaders had begun to improve US-Russia ties anyway.
Putin, speaking to Russian diplomats from around the world, said the Helsinki summit had been successful.
“It was successful overall and led to some useful agreements. Of course, let’s see how events will develop further,” he said, without disclosing the nature of the agreements he referred to.


Korean border troops check removal of each other’s posts

Updated 8 min 27 sec ago
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Korean border troops check removal of each other’s posts

  • The two Koreas have each dismantled or disarmed 11 of their guard posts inside the Demilitarized Zone that forms their 248-km-long, 4-km -wide border
  • The Demilitarized Zone was originally created as a buffer between the countries at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War

INSIDE THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE: Dozens of South Korean soldiers visited former front-line North Korean guard posts on Wednesday to verify their recent removal as part of warming diplomacy by the rival Koreas while US-North Korea nuclear disarmament efforts remain stalled.
The two Koreas have each dismantled or disarmed 11 of their guard posts inside the Demilitarized Zone that forms their 248-kilometer (155-mile) -long, 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) -wide border. The removals will leave South Korea with about 50 other DMZ posts and North Korea with 150, according to defense experts in South Korea.
A small group of journalists was allowed to enter the zone to watch a South Korean team leave for a North Korean guard post on Wednesday morning to verify its destruction. North Korean teams wre also going to verify the work on the South Korean side of the zone later Wednesday.
Seven helmeted South Korean soldiers wearing backpacks, one carrying a camera and another a camcorder, approached the line separating the north and south sides of the DMZ. North Korean troops then walked in a row down a hill to meet them. The soldiers from the rival Koreas exchanged handshakes before moving up the hill together to go to the dismantled North Korean guard post.
Other groups of South Korean soldiers were simultaneously visiting 10 other North Korean guard posts. They inspected whether the guard posts and any underground structures have been completely dismantled and whether all troops, weapons and other equipment have been withdrawn, according to Seoul’s Defense Ministry.
The Demilitarized Zone was originally created as a buffer between the countries at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. But contrary to its name, the DMZ has become the world’s most heavily fortified frontier after the rival Koreas planted an estimated 2 million mines, deployed combat troops and heavy weapons and set up layers of barbed wire fences.
When the leaders of the Koreas met in Pyongyang in September, they agreed to lower military tensions along their border, including the withdrawal of some DMZ guard posts, halting live-fire exercises near the border, demilitarizing their shared border village of Panmunjom and removing mines at a DMZ area to launch joint searches for Korean War dead.
Conservatives in South Korea have criticized the deals, saying Seoul shouldn’t have agreed to such conventional arms reduction programs because North Korea’s nuclear threat remains unchanged.
US-led nuclear diplomacy aimed at stripping North Korea of its nuclear program has reported little progress since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump met for a summit in Singapore in June. North Korea has made a vague disarmament pledge, and some experts say the North’s turn to diplomacy after last year’s string of weapons tests is aimed to weaken US-led sanctions.