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South Korea: Summit With U.S. Likely Next Month

An unnamed South Korean presidential official tells Reuters that the summit would be held ahead of a proposed meeting with President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un expected in May or June.

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The U.S. and South Korea are likely to hold a summit next month ahead of a separate proposed summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that could come as early as next month.

That is according to remarks from an unnamed South Korean presidential official quoted by Reuters.

An inter-Korean summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Kim will be the third such meeting since the end of the Korea War in 1953. Two previous summits, in 2000 and again in 2007 were undertaken with high hopes of progress toward a lasting peace.

Meanwhile, President Trump, who has in the past referred to Kim derisively as “Little Rocket Man” and promised to respond to North Korean provocations with “fire and fury,” is sounding a more conciliatory tone ahead of the proposed summit.

Speaking of the summit, Trump said Tuesday, “We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible. We think that’s a great thing for the world.”

“Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing,” Trump said alongside visiting French President Emmanuel Macron.

However, as The Associated Press notes, “Trump cautioned that North Korea had not followed through on previous promises, but credited tough steps from his administration – including sanctions and organizing pressure from international allies – for having forced Pyongyang to hold talks. And he again suggested that he would ‘leave the table’ if the negotiations were not productive or if North Korea was not operating in good faith.”

“We’ll see where that all goes,” the president said. “Maybe it will be wonderful or maybe it won’t.”

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Trump Says He’ll Make a ‘Major Announcement’ Saturday Afternoon About Shutdown, Border

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Washington (AP) — Trump says he will make a ‘major announcement’ on Saturday afternoon about the government shutdown and border security.

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Trump Administration Separated Thousands More Migrants Than Previously Known

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The Trump Administration separated thousands more migrant kids from their families at the border than it previously acknowledged, and the separations started months before the policy was announced, according to a federal audit released Thursday morning.

“More children over a longer period of time” were separated at the border than commonly known, an investigator with the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general’s office told reporters Thursday morning.

“How many more children were separated is unknown, by us and HHS” because of failures to track families as they were being separated, he said.

HHS officials involved in caring for the separated children and reunifying families estimated “thousands” of additional children are separated at the border, the inspector general said.

The report sheds new light on the Trump administration’s efforts to deter border crossings by separating migrant families. House Democrats who’ve condemned the separations as inhumane have vowed to investigate the administration’s handling of the policy and its health effects on separated children, and the inspector general said additional investigations are in the works.

The inspector general report said some family separations continued, even after President Donald Trump in June 2018 ended the policy amid uproar and a federal court ordered his administration to reunify the families. The June 2018 court order called on the administration to reunify about 2,500 separated children in government custody. Most of those families were reunited within 30 days.

However, HHS received at least 118 separated children between July and early November, according to the report. DHS provided “limited” information about the reason for those separations. In slightly more than half of those cases, border officials cited the parent’s criminal history as a reason to separate the families, although they did not always provide details. The court order requiring reunifications said family separations should only occur if border officials could specify when parents posed possible dangers to children or were otherwise unfit to care for them, the inspector general noted.

Federal investigators said they had no details about how many of the “thousands of separated children” who entered the care of HHS before the June 2018 court order had been reunited.

“We have no information about the status of the children who were released prior to the court order,” Maxwell told reporters. [POLITICO]

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Prince Phillip Involved in Car Crash

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#BREAKING Duke of Edinburgh involved in car crash near Sandringham Estate but not injured, Buckingham Palace says.

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