SEARCH

Tuesday
Jun122018

Mattis not surprised by Trump's call to end military exercises: Pentagon

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was not surprised by President Donald Trump’s call to end U.S. military exercises with South Korea and had been consulted beforehand, a Pentagon official said Tuesday.

As reports emerged that the South Korean government was surprised by the announcement, questions were raised about whether Mattis and other U.S. policymakers had also been caught off guard.

“There were no surprises, they had spoken on all of these issues in advance,” Dana White, the chief Pentagon spokesperson, told ABC News when asked if Mattis knew about the president's announcement.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos and at a press briefing Trump announced that he was suspending military exercises conducted annually in South Korea by the U.S. military.

"I’m doing something that I’ve wanted to do from the beginning," Trump said in the interview with Stephanopoulos. "We stopped playing those war games that cost us a fortune."

"We’re spending a fortune, every couple of months we’re doing war games with South Korea," he added.

Asked if Mattis was surprised by those comments White said Mattis had been in constant conversations with the President.

“He was not surprised, he was consulted,“ she added. "They’d been having lots of conversations, but about all things and possibilities. “

“These are negotiations so the Secretary has been in full consultation with Secretary of State Pompeo, as well as the president,” said White.

“The Secretary’s in full alignment with the President to meet his goal which is denuclearization of the Peninsula.”

In a formal statement, White said the Pentagon welcomed "the positive news coming out of the summit and fully supports the ongoing, diplomatically-led efforts with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea."

"Our alliances remain ironclad, and ensure peace and stability in the region," she said in the statement. "The Presidential summit outcome is the first step along the path to the goal: complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a free and open Indo-Pacific."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun122018

The world watched: Trump-Kim summit drew global reaction, with many expressing cautious hope

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- At all hours of the night, from all corners of the globe, the world watched.

China praised the outcome of the summit, in which President Donald Trump pledged security guarantees to the North and and Kim Jong Un appeared to endorse complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“A new history has been made and China welcomes and support it” said Chinese Foreign Minister, Geng Shuang. China, the northern neighbor of Pyongyang, said it would be willing to play a constructive role in further U.S.-North Korea agreements.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe applauded the "courage and determination" of the two leaders. But he added that he hoped to speak to North Korea about the Cold War-era abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korean spies.

“I’m determined that Japan will have to directly face North Korea and resolve [the abductions] bilaterally,” Abe told reporters.

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both said the issue of the Japanese abductions was discussed in Tuesday's meeting.

Trump was also asked about whether North Korea's human rights record came up at the summit, and he told ABC News that the issue was discussed "briefly" and then "at length."

International advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International didn't think that was enough.

In contrast to the reaction of many nations, Iran issued a warning to North Korea. Now and in the months since Trump pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal, Iranian leaders have sought to deliver one consistent message to North Korea: President Trump is an unreliable partner.

"We are facing a person who backtracks from his signature as he travels on a plane," Iranian Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht told reporters Tuesday, according to semi-official Fars News. "I do not know with whom the North Korean leader is negotiating. This person is not a wise representative for the U.S."

President Trump decided after leaving the G-7 summit last weekend not to sign onto a joint communique.

At the United Nations, meanwhile, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the summit "an important milestone in the advancement of sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula."

"The road ahead requires cooperation, compromise and a common cause," Guterres continued in a statement. "Implementing today’s and previous agreements reached, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions, will require patience and support from the global community. The Secretary-General urges all concerned parties to seize this momentous opportunity."

In the United Kingdom, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called the meeting "an important first step towards a stable and prosperous future."

Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said North Korea’s commitment to denuclearization is a sign that Pyongyang might finally be turning a corner.

The British papers shared their front pages early, with news seemingly dominated by the summit. The Guardian Weekly's front page asks: "A great leap forward?"

And the editor of the Evening Standard, tweeted out that paper's front page, with what appeared to be a tongue-in-cheek headline: "At last... A leader I can do business with" under a picture of Trump and Kim shaking hands.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun122018

Trump courts Kim Jong Un with Hollywood-style trailer: 'You could have the best hotels in the world'

Win McNamee/Getty Images(SENTOSA ISLAND, Singapore) -- President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that he showed Kim Jong Un a "tape that was done on the highest level of future development" and made the pitch to the North Korea dictator that his country, which is struggling financially, "could have the best hotels in the world" instead of spending money on testing ballistic missiles.

Trump, who called his historic meeting with the North Korean leader "honest, direct and productive," has always argued that his experience as a businessman would help him negotiate as president and it seems that the former real estate mogul did just that in Singapore.

"As an example, they have great beaches. You see that whenever they're exploding their cannons into the ocean, right?" Trump said while speaking with reporters at the press conference in Singapore. "I said boy, look at that beach. Wouldn't that make a great condo behind? And I said instead of doing that you could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective."

The four-minute tape, which Trump said was shown in both English and Korean and was made from the perspective of the United States, was released by the White House and it is a Hollywood-style movie trailer produced by a fake production company, "The Destiny Pictures Productions."

The trailer-style video features dramatic music and a voiceover narrator and flashes between images of iconic scenes from around the world, stock images of scientific and technological innovation and videos of Trump and Kim — the lead characters — waving, smiling and addressing the people.

"Destiny Pictures presents a story of opportunity. A new story, a new beginning. One of peace. Two men, two leaders, one destiny," the narrator says.

"On this day. In this time. At this moment. The world will be watching, listening, anticipating, hoping. Will this leader choose to advance his country and be part of a new world? Be the hero of his people? ... Which path will be chosen?" the narration continues. "Featuring President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un.... in a meeting to remake history. To shine in the sun. One moment, one choice, what if? The future remains to be written."

Kim's father, North Korea's late Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il was a well-known movie buff and a huge Hollywood fan with an enormous collection of thousands of movies.

Trump said that while North Korea "may not want that" and may want to expand at a smaller scale, he added that Kim "looked at the tape, he looked at that iPad and I'm telling you, they really enjoyed it, I believe."

Trump praised Kim in an exclusive interview with ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos just hours after the intense negotiations.

"I do trust him, yeah," Trump said. "Maybe in a year you’ll be interviewing and I'll say I made a mistake. It's possible. We’re dealing at a high level, a lot of things can change a lot of things are possible."

When pressed by Stephanopoulos on his previous criticism of North Korea's human rights abuses Trump said, "I think that he really wants to do a great job for North Korea."

"I think he wants to de-nuke, without that, there's nothing to discuss. It was on the table from the beginning, and you see a total denuclearization of North Korea – so important."

When asked if there was talk of pulling U.S. troops out of South Korea, Trump said the topic didn't come up.

"We didn't discuss that, no. We're not going to play the war games... I thought they were very provocative. I also they're also very expensive," he said.



Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun122018

5 moments you missed from the North Korea summit: The biggest developments from overnight

ABC News (NEW YORK) -- They came. They shook. They made history.

President Donald Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to meet with a North Korean head of state on Tuesday.

The controversial summit, held in neutral Singapore, appeared to go off without any major or noticeable hitches.

Trump and Kim Jong Un have now parted ways, since Singapore is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, and are heading home, but here's a round up of the biggest moments from their time together.

1. The made-for-TV handshake


The official start of the summit came when the two world leaders shook hands shortly after 9 a.m. local time.

The pair met at the Capella resort on the island of Sentosa. They walked in from opposite sides of the building and met in front of a row of interspersed American and North Korean flags.

It was the first in a series of handshakes that were televised throughout the day, but it stood out as a landmark moment.

2. Solo meetings and group work


The first meeting that the pair had on their schedule was one-on-one, accompanied only by translators.

Both leaders spoke briefly before the doors were shut to the gathered press, with Trump saying that he thought it would be "tremendously successful."

Kim said that "it was not an easy path here," but went on to say that "we've overcome everything and come to this place."

The meeting lasted for about 45 minutes before the pair reemerged and joined an expanded bilateral group which included some of their top aides.

From there, the group expanded even further for a working lunch.

3. Joint signing of an "important" document

After their lunch, the two men took a walk past reporters and Trump said that they were headed to "a signing," giving little details about the document itself.

No further clarity came during the signing itself, with Trump calling it "a pretty comprehensive document" that "we're both very honored to sign."

Kim spoke at the signing, through a translator, saying that they had a "historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind."

"The world will see a major change," he said.

The actual text of the document was visible in a picture from the signing, after Trump held it up to show their signatures.

"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," the document states.

Read a full copy of the document here.

4. Trump speaks exclusively to ABC News

In his first interview after the summit, Trump told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that he trusts Kim, in spite of the dictator's past brutality.

"I do trust him, yeah," Trump said. "Maybe in a year you’ll be interviewing and I'll say I made a mistake. It's possible. We’re dealing at a high level, a lot of things can change a lot of things are possible."

Trump seemed to hold an optimistic take on Kim's intentions, saying that the dictator "really wants to do something I think terrific for their country."

He said that he would welcome Kim to the White House for a future meeting, and said that he believes that this summit changes the relationship that North Korea has with the U.S.

"This is different, I believe you'll find in years to come, George. I think you're going to find this is different," Trump said.

5. Trump's final stop in Singapore


Before getting on a plane headed back to the U.S., Trump held an hour-long press conference with the gathered international media, describing his hopes for the impact of the summit.

"My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct and productive," Trump said in a media availability following the meeting. "We got to know each other well in a very confined period of time under very strong, strong circumstances. We're prepared to start a new history and we're ready to write a new chapter between our nations."

The question of North Korea's dismal human rights record came up more than once at the news conference, and at first, Trump said that he and Kim discussed it "relatively briefly," but later saying that "it was discussed at length outside of the nuclear situation."

"I believe it's a rough situation over there, there's no question about it and we did discussed it today pretty strongly," Trump said in response to a question from ABC News chief White House correspondent Jon Karl.

"I mean knowing what the main purpose of what we were doing is -- de-nuking -- but discussed it in pretty good length. We'll be doing something on it. It’s rough, it's rough in a lot of places, by the way, not just there but it's rough and we will continue that and I think ultimately we will agree to something," Trump said.



Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun122018

Anniversary of Otto Warmbier's release brings up harsh memories of North Korea

Xinhua/Lu Rui via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly one year before President Donald Trump's historic handshake with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, the president painted a very different picture of the "brutality" of the Kim regime following the release of an American student who was in a coma.

Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old who attended the University of Virginia, was evacuated to a medical center in Cincinnati in an unresponsive state on July 13, 2017, after close to a year and a half in captivity.

Warmbier, who was on a five-day tour of North Korea, was arrested and accused of stealing a propaganda poster. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

A family statement issued on the eve of his release said that they had just learned of the coma one week before, and expressed joy at the prospect of being reunited.

"We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korea," the statement read. "We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who love him."

Six days later, Warmbier would be dead.

North Korea claimed he slipped into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill shortly after his sentencing.

Warmbier's detainment lasted until a special envoy sent by Trump secured his release almost 17 months after his arrest.

Doctors from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Warmbier was taken, said he suffered from injuries related to cardiopulmonary arrest and was in a state of unresponsive wakefulness, adding that scans showed extensive loss of tissue in all regions of his brain and that they found no evidence of botulism.

After Warmbier passed, Trump sent his condolences to the family and condemned "the brutality of the North Korean regime" in a statement.

The Warmbier family has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against North Korea, claiming the regime tortured and killed their son.

Otto's parents, Cindy and Fred, were recognized in January at Trump's first State of the Union -- a moment that brought tears to Cindy's eyes. His parents reiterated their commitment to exposing North Korea's human rights violations at a U.N. symposium May 3.

"We are trying to build a pathway that leads directly to Kim and his regime to force them to be answerable for their actions," Fred said.

As Trump sat next to Kim Jong Un Tuesday during the summit in Singapore, a reporter asked the president for comment on Warmbier.

Trump, who was signing a joint document with the North Korean dictator at the moment, did not respond to the query.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun122018

President Trump urges Kim Jong Un to seize 'new chapter' in future of North Korea

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday hailed his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as an opportunity to usher in "a glorious new era of security and prosperity" for the North Korean people, calling for Kim to seize on the opportunity in the interest of world peace.

"My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct and productive," Trump said in a press conference following the meeting. "We got to know each other well in a very confined period of time under very strong, strong circumstances. We're prepared to start a new history and we're ready to write a new chapter between our nations."

But reflecting on the meeting Trump appeared to brush off for the most part North Korea’s dismal record regarding human rights, saying it was only discussed “relatively briefly” compared to the primary goal of convincing Kim to dismantle his nuclear program.

“Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough,” Trump said. “I don't say he was nice or say anything about it. He ran it, few people at that age – you could take one out of 10,000 could not do it.”

Though when pressed later in the news conference by ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, Trump claimed it was actually discussed “at length.”

“We will be doing something on it,” Trump said. “It's rough. It's rough in a lot of places, by the way. We will continue that and I think ultimately agree to something. It was discussed at length outside of the nuclear situation.”

In a speech to the United Nations last September, Trump made human rights a key issue in his overall condemnation of Kim Jong Un’s regime.

“No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea,” Trump said. “It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.”

Trump and Kim spent more than four and a half hours together at the Capella Hotel resort on Sentosa Island Tuesday, holding both a one-on-one sit down with translators followed by an expanded meeting with their top national security aides.

The meetings yielded a joint statement signed by both leaders in which the U.S. agreed to provide security commitments for North Korea in exchange for "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

While it's unclear what specific security commitments Trump is willing to put on the table, he said during his press conference that he plans to order the halt of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that the North Koreans have long described as an obstacle to productive talks.

"It's a very provocative situation," Trump said. "When I see that and you have a country right next door, so under the circumstances that we're negotiating a very comprehensive, complete deal, I think it's inappropriate to be having war games."

Even as Trump downplayed the importance of the exercises, the move would amount to a potentially major concession to North Korea even as it hasn't set forward any known concrete steps that would fully eliminate its nuclear program.

"We haven't given up anything," Trump said. "Other than -- you're right, I agreed to meet and I think the meeting was every bit as good for the United States as it was for North Korea."

The agreement signed by Trump and Kim states that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be tasked with meeting with a high-level North Korean official "at the earliest possible date to implement the outcomes" of the summit.

Trump also said in his press conference that U.S. sanctions against North Korea will remain in effect as the country takes steps to dismantle its nuclear program.

The president fielded questions for more than an hour in his first solo news conference since February of 2017.

He sought to brush off questions that his appearance with Kim legitimizes his dictatorship, with some citing a video played for reporters prior to the start of the press conference that the president said he gifted to Kim in an attempt to show him the bright future available to his country.

The video portrayed North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons and being able to adopt Western-style markets, transportation systems and joining South Korea in the modern era.

"I showed it to you because that is the future," Trump said. "That could very well be the future. The other alternative is not a good alternative."

Following his press conference, the president will depart Singapore earlier than the White House had originally scheduled. Secretary of State Pompeo said Monday that negotiations with the North Koreans were "moving quite rapidly," and the U.S. anticipated they would "come to their logical conclusion even more quickly than we had anticipated."

The conclusion of the historic summit followed an often tumultuous year and a half where at times it appeared that the U.S. and North Korea were closer than ever before to engaging in direct military conflict.

Before Kim's departure, the president heaped praise on the young dictator, saying he learned from their meeting that he's "a very talented man" who "loves his country very much."

“We're going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world,” Trump said. “This is going to lead to more and more and more, and it's an honor to be with you. Very great honor.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun112018

Hurricane Bud is weakening, could hit Mexico as tropical storm

iStock/Thinkstock(PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico) -- The hurricane season is striking well ahead of schedule.

The second Eastern North Pacific hurricane of the season is whipping up 120 mph winds but moving at a glacial pace of about 7 mph. It's currently churning up waters more than 300 miles west of Puerto Vallarta and 400 miles south of Cabo San Lucas.

Hurricane Bud is the sequel to last week's Hurricane Aletta, which was eventually downgraded to a tropical storm.

At its peak, Aletta was a Category 4 hurricane when it was first detected about 500 miles off Mexico’s west coast late last week and scared up heavy swells that swept across the west coast from Baja, California and led to strong rip current conditions.

While Bud was initially expected to make landfall in Mexico as a Category 3 hurricane, new forecasts on Monday afternoon began predicting that Bud will hit Baja California or Cabo San Lucas as a weak tropical storm with winds reaching only about 40 mph.

Still, some of Bud's outer rain bands could drench Puerto Vallarta later tonight and into tomorrow.

In terms of rainfall, Bud is predicted to drench southwestern Mexico with three to six inches, with some areas seeing as much as 10 inches.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun112018

'Rocket Man' tacos, 'Four Peace' chicken boxes help Singapore restaurants cash in on summit 

ABC News(SUNTEC CITY, Singapore) -- Restaurants and bars in Singapore are known for their savvy adaptations of other cultures and new trends. With less than 24 hours before the planned historic meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in this city-state, creative menus and ideas with a touch of humor are luring customers.

The most popular are summit-themed burgers. Wolf Burgers, a popular spot at a food court in Suntec City, offers the “Burger for World Peace” made of Korean marinated bulgogi brisket with kimchi mayonnaise and melted American cheddar cheese.

“It’s a very important event for us, because we are celebrating world peace,” a high school student who was sampling the new menu told ABC News. “There will be no more World War Three.”

Another burger can be found at a food stall in Makansutra Gluttons Bay. The Old Satay Club Mee Goreng stall No. 4 sells a limited-edition item called “Trump-Kim Peace Burger.” The cook includes kimchi for a Korean taste and it sells for about $9.

Meanwhile, Royal Plaza on Scotts Hotel features a grilled “Trump-Kim Burger” with a mix of minced chicken, seaweed and kimchi patty, with Korean rice rolls and fries on the side, also for about $9. To wash it down, the “Summit Iced Tea” is sold for about $4.50 as a mix of Korean honey yuzu and traditional iced tea.

OSG Bar and Kitchen coined a fusion dish to represent the diverse culture in Singapore with a sprinkle of U.S.-North Korea summit on top. “Trump-Kimchi Nasi Lemak” is served in a round bowl symbolizing peace, with U.S. imported dry-aged beef and fried Korean Kimchi on top of chicken rice, and Malaysian chili, selling for less than $16.

The owner of the restaurant, Zach Wen, made a flier and photo-op board to promote this summit-themed Singaporean rice.

Gastropub Escobar restaurant brought the expected “war of nerves” between Trump and Kim with its summit-special menu. With the “U.S.-North Korea Showdown,” customers can play drinking games with 10 blue vodka shots on behalf of the United States and red soju shots for North Korea, at about $45. Those who aren’t up for a drinking game can savor a bourbon-based glass of “Trump” or soju-based “Kim” cocktails. They cost around $9.40 a glass.

Lucha Loco introduced a seasonal taco menu just for the summit. The Mexican restaurant named summit-season tacos after the two leaders’ nicknames. The “Rocket Man Taco” represents North Korean leader Kim, as Trump once referred to him. And there’s the “El Trumpo Taco” named after the U.S. president. The price begins at about $7.50.

Even fast-food chain KFC is jumping on the bandwagon, offering a four-piece meal in a "Four Peace" box on the day of the summit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun112018

Migrants rescue-ship adrift as Italy-Malta standoff continues 

iStock/Thinkstock(ROME) -- The standoff continued on Monday between Italy and Malta over more than 600 migrants who are adrift aboard a rescue ship in the Mediterranean and waiting to find out if they will be allowed to dock in a port soon.

On Monday afternoon, Spain offered to allow the migrant-rescue ship to dock at the port of Valencia "to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe,’’ though it remained unclear whether or not the ship was able to make the journey to Valencia.

Late Monday afternoon, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called a cabinet meeting this evening to discuss the issue.

The 629 rescued migrants on board the ship Aquarius, operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without borders, come from Eritrea, Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan, and include 88 women - seven of which are pregnant - 123 unaccompanied minors and 11 children. All were rescued Saturday night - about 50 from the sea and the rest from Libyan coast -in guard dinghies.

The ship was heading for the Italian port of Messina Sunday when Italian officials ordered it to stop and remain in place, 27 miles west of Malta and 35 miles south west of mainland Italy.

Following up on his campaign promises, the new Italian interior minister and deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing League party, said the ship would not be allowed to dock in Italy and suggested that as it was closer to Malta, it should dock there.

“Italy is done bowing its head and obeying," Salvini tweeted on Mondy. "This time there’s someone saying no." His tweet concluded with the hashtag #chiudiamoiporti – which means "we're closing the ports" in Italian.

Salvini appears to be using this latest migrant incident to assert that Italy can no longer be left alone to deal with the continuous flow of migrants arriving by sea, mostly from Africa, and that he expects other European countries to share the burden in future.

Malta’s Prime Minsiter Joseph Muscat continued to insist his country is acting according to international law and that it is Italy’s duty to take in the migrants, as Italy’s coast guard coordinated the rescues off the coast of Libya.

Malta has always refused large numbers of migrants to dock at its ports, saying it already accepts more refugees per capita than Italy.

Italy has taken in more than 600,000 migrants from the sea since 2014, according to Reuters, with about 13,706 sea arrivals so far this year - a significant decrease from recent years.

Vincent Cochetel, the United Nation's High Commissioner For Refugees' (UNHCR’s) Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean appealed to the two countries to deal with the "urgent humanitarian imperative here” first.

Cochetel said that "broader issues, such as who has responsibility and how these responsibilities can best be shared between states, should be looked at later.”

A spokesman on board the rescue ship told RAINEWS24 channel today that the conditions of the passengers were generally good and that the situation on board was calm. Although there were no immediate emergencies on board, the spokesman said, there were many who needed medical care for chemical burns, hypothermia and dehydration.

The ship has enough water on board but would begin running out of food by this evening, he said.

In an attempt to ease the stalemate, a number of mayors of port cities in Italy on Monday said that they would allow the ship to dock in their cities.

Following the Spanish offer, Salvini told reporters that his approach had been vindicated. "

Evidently raising your voice, something Italy did not do for years, pays," Salvini said.

But efforts to break the stalemate between Italy and Malta are expected to continue.

While thanking Spain for their offer of help, the Maltese Prime minister said Italy had broken international rules and that there was a need to sit down with European partners to avoid an incident like this from happening again.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun112018

Five latest North Korea summit developments: What you missed overnight

MCI via Getty Images(SENTOSA ISLAND, Singapore) -- Even though the big meeting isn't on the schedule until Tuesday in Singapore, there were still plenty of interesting developments over the course of the first full day that President Donald Trump has been in the city.

Here is a rundown of the biggest actions that took place overnight, as Singapore is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.

1. New details about Trump’s first meeting with Kim Jong Un

President Trump's first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be held one-on-one, according to a White House official.

While the White House update detailed the size of the meeting, the expected length of the meeting hasn't been released.

The official did not rule out the possibility that additional activities could be added to tomorrow's schedule, beyond the two planned meetings with Kim, ABC News' Jordyn Phelps reports.

Asked about a North Korean state media report that Trump and Kim were set to talk denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula, the official said the report is a hopeful indication.

"I think we should take some optimism from that reporting," the official said. "Given the history of the way KCNA has reported, I think that is a sign for optimism."

Trump himself seemed optimistic as well.

"We’ve got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow," Trump said at a luncheon with the Singapore prime minister on Monday. "I think things could work out very nicely. We appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and friendship."

2. Pompeo tweeting out some closed-door moments

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Twitter feed was busy during the first day of the summit, sharing photos of different meetings.

The first came early in the day, showing a glimpse of his morning briefing with Ambassador Sung Kim, the South Korean-born American diplomat who is the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines. Kim has led the U.S. team at the demilitarized zone working on a joint communique with North Korea.

Later, Pompeo shared a picture of Trump speaking with the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.

The event was closed to press, so the only specific details from inside came from Pompeo, who didn't directly quote the president in his tweet.

White House director of social media Dan Scavino later tweeted some more pictures from the event, which was held at the Shangri-La Hotel and not at the embassy itself.

3. Trade still top of mind


Trump went from one global leadership summit to another this weekend, leaving the G-7 conference in Canada to fly to Singapore. And based on the tweets that Trump sent Monday morning, it doesn’t seem like he left his baggage from the first summit at the door.

After more than a day’s silence on Twitter, Trump posted four tweets about trade disagreements that were the talk of the G-7 conference, followed by a quick mention of the summit he is now attending -- writing “Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!” -- before turning back to tweeting about trade once more.

4. A big display with the summit host

While the main attraction of the summit will inevitably be the historic meeting between Trump and Kim, that wasn't the first world leader he met with on this trip.

He had his first formal meeting of the summit with the prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong.

They first met one-on-one before expanding the group for a working lunch.

5. Celebrating early

There was a sweet ending to the working lunch: an early birthday cake for Trump.

The foreign minister of Singapore tweeted out a picture of the cake presented to Trump at the luncheon today in Singapore.

Trump was pictured with the cake, delivered three days before his actual birthday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio