Apr. 27 News Briefs

Trump declares in tweet: ‘KOREAN WAR TO END’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump tweeted “KOREAN WAR TO END” Friday after a historic meeting between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea. Trump responded to the meeting of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in South Korea. They pledged in a joint statement to rid their peninsula of nuclear weapons — but didn’t identify any specific new measures to achieve that. Trump is expected to meet with Kim in late May or June. He tweeted: “KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!” In a separate tweet sent minutes earlier, Trump said “good things are happening, but only time will tell.”

Russian lawyer at Trump Tower worked with government

MOSCOW (AP) — An organization established by an exiled Russian tycoon says it has obtained emails showing collaboration between Russian government officials and the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. in 2016. The emails the Dossier organization said it was sent suggest Natalia Veselnitskaya worked closely with a top official in Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office to fend off a U.S. fraud case against one of her clients. Veselnitskaya has denied having connections to the Kremlin since her meeting with then-candidate Donald Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign chairman. The encounter took place after Donald Trump Jr. was told she had potentially incriminating information about Trump’s election opponent, Hillary Clinton. Veselnitskaya is a well-connected Moscow lawyer, but the extent of her government ties has been unclear. Dossier is an arm of tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Trump, Merkel cordial, but no apparent movement on Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — This time, fewer hugs. President Donald Trump welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House on Friday for a visit of less than three hours. He greeted Merkel outside the West Wing with a handshake and a kiss on each cheek, a traditional welcome but far short of the bountiful display of personal warmth that was seen earlier in the week when he played host to French President Emmanuel Macron for a lavish three-day state visit. Trump, in brief remarks alongside Merkel in the Oval Office, called her an “extraordinary woman,” congratulated her on her recent re-election and disputed any idea that their rapport was frosty. “We have a really great relationship. We actually have had a great relationship from the beginning,” Trump said. Merkel’s message was similar to Macron’s — that America and Europe need to bury the hatchet on issues from global trade to international security. Trump is widely expected to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear accord next month, despite pleas from Macron earlier this week and Merkel Friday. Merkel used her meeting with Trump to try to paper over the differences, calling the Obama-era agreement a “first step” toward curtailing and containing Iran’s regional ambitions and suggesting openness to a side agreement. Trump has said he was open to new negotiations with Iran, but has not said whether he would heed European calls for the U.S. to stay in the deal, which aims to restrict Iran’s nuclear efforts, while those talks are underway. His decision is expected by May 12. On trade, Merkel said there was little progress on seeking permanent exemptions for the EU from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. “The decision lies with the president,” she said.