Opinion: Trump's zero preparation, zero achievement summit

While this summit in Helsinki, Finland, may not go down in history alongside the moment Franklin D. Roosevelt gave away Eastern Europe to Joseph Stalin at Yalta, it has to rank as the lowest ever in modern times. It’s the worst for all sorts of reasons: zero preparation, zero deliverables, zero understanding of the stakes and the horror it’s wreaked on the entire Western alliance, not to mention America’s intelligence community, who Donald Trump has now thrown definitively under the bus.


Source: CNN

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North Korea breaks silence on Kim Jong-un's 'immortal achievement' as Donald Trump claims credit for summit

North Korea breaks silence on Kim Jong-un's 'immortal achievement' as Donald Trump claims credit for summitNorth Korea hailed a “new era of peace” on Saturday in its first comments on the historic summit between Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The inter-Korean summit was a “historic meeting” that paved the way for the start of a new era, said Pyongyang’s state media, which had stayed silent as the developments unfolded on Friday. The official KCNA news agency said it was a “historic meeting that has opened a new era for national reconciliation and unity, peace and prosperity”, and carried the text of the leaders’ Panmunjom Declaration in full. In typically colourful language, KCNA reported that the leaders exchanged “honest and heartfelt talks” at a summit that “was a realisation of the supreme leader’s blazing love for the nation and unyielding will for self-reliance.” The state propaganda arm said Kim’s “immortal achievement will be brightly engraved in the history of the Korean nation’s unification.” Rocket man: How Kim Jong-un emerged from his father’s shadow to silence the doubters Saturday’s edition of North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun, meanwhile, featured four pages dedicated to the summit. The regime’s reaction comes after Donald Trump hailed the outcome as better than anyone could have ever imagined, while other world leaders struck a note of more cautious optimism. BREAKING: North Korean main state newspaper publishes Saturday edition: – Commitment to denuclearization carried on p. 3, in declaration text – Kim pictured hugging Moon – Includes pictures of leaders on both sides of DMZ – 4 of 6 pages dedicated to summit More to come! pic.twitter.com/cnvnSDNQee— NK NEWS (@nknewsorg) April 28, 2018 The meeting, during which Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South, has been seen by leaders in the region as a stepping stone to more significant developments in the future. Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed on a raft of measures on Friday, including a commitment to sign a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War by the end of the year and to achieve the complete denuclearisation of the peninsula.  Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, was clear that Kim must follow up his promising rhetoric with concrete action.  Mr Abe said he “strongly” hoped Pyongyang would take clear steps towards its pledge to scrap its nuclear weapons programme. “I will keep a close watch on North Korea’s future conduct,” Mr Abe told reporters. Hong Joon-pyo, head of South Korea’s opposition Liberty Party, denounced the summit as a “show camouflaged as peace”. The historic meeting between the North and South Korean leaders has been carefully watched The Chinese government, North Korea’s biggest ally, said it welcomed moves to promote reconciliation between the two sides “and extends its congratulation”. Beijing stressed that it was ready to “play its positive role” in the peace efforts, a comment that appeared to underline China’s desire to be involved in any multi-party discussions on the future of the region.  In contrast to the cautious optimism of his counterparts, the US president hailed the moment as a “great thing for the world” – and trumpeted his own role in the process.  “When I began, people were saying that was an impossibility,” Mr Trump said. “They said there were two alternatives: let them have what they have or go to war. And now we have a much better alternative than anybody thought even possible.” Mr Trump stressed that his “good friend” Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, had been “extremely helpful” in bringing the two sides to the table. “Without him it would have been a much longer, tougher, process,” Mr Trump tweeted.  Please do not forget the great help that my good friend, President Xi of China, has given to the United States, particularly at the Border of North Korea. Without him it would have been a much longer, tougher, process!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2018 The president said he would be meeting with Kim in the “very shortly”, with a summit anticipated in May or early June, but insisted he was “not going to be played” by the North Korean leader.  “Relationships are building and building strongly” between the US and North Korea, Mr Trump said at the White House. “This will be a great thing for the world,” he said. Mr Trump refused to say whether he had spoken to Kim directly, but said the location of their meeting had been narrowed down to two potential sites. “Things have changed very radically from a few months ago. You know, the name calling and a lot of other things,” Mr Trump said. The two leaders have publicly traded insults, with Mr Trump referring to Kim as “little rocket man” and “short and fat”, while Kim has called the president a “dotard”. The US president went on to claim the responsibility for easing tensions on the Korean peninsula should not have been left to him. “This should have been handled a long time ago, not now…but we will handle it,” he said. “It’s certainly something that I hope I can do for the world.”  He added: “I think I have a responsibility to see if I can do it. And if I can’t do it, it will be a very tough time for a lot of countries and a lot of people.” However European allies were more muted in their responses. Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, said he welcomed the announcement but stressed “there are still many questions to be answered”. Thousands of South Korean Buddhists have a prayer service wishing for a successful Inter-Korean Summit  Credit: Woohae Cho /Getty “This historic summit is not the end in itself,” Mr Johnson said. “The UK will continue to work with our international partners to strictly enforce existing sanctions until such time that North Korea turns its commitments into concrete steps towards denuclearisation.” Nato’s chief echoed Mr Johnson, insisting that international sanctions against North Korea “should remain in place until we see a real change”.  Jens Stoltenberg said the meeting marked “a very important first step” which was the result of international pressure and tough economic sanctions. “There is a long way to go before we see a full resolution to the crisis,” he added. The Kremlin has also applauded the breakthrough in inter-Korean relations, with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, describing the outcome of the talks as “good news”. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, said Germany would “continue to be vigilant” on the North Koreans’ actions.


Source: Yahoo! News

How Stephen Hawking's biggest achievement linked opposing worlds of physics

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