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Trump warns North Korea, then invites Kim to negotiating table

John T. Bennett, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

Trump declined to comment when asked if he would agree to direct talks with the North. But, notably, he did not rule out U.S.-North Korean negotiations that he in the past has said would not work. He also praised China for pressuring North Korea, but also called on Beijing and Russia to do more to help resolve the standoff.

He and Moon announced a number of steps their governments are taking to combat the North's aggressive antics.

South Korea has agreed to ramp up its purchase of U.S.-made military and other items. The move is part of his goal of wiping out the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea, Trump said, describing it as an economic win for America and a security win for the South.

"And South Korea will be ordering billions of dollars of that equipment, which, frankly, for them makes a lot of sense," he said. "And for us, it means jobs. It means reducing our trade deficit with South Korea."

South Korea and the United States have agreed to waive the payload limit on ROK missiles in the face of aggression from North Korea, Moon announced. He also said he and Trump have finalized an agreement to "expand rotational deployment of U.S. strategic assets in and around Korean Peninsula."

While those military moves are aimed at combating an aggressive North, Moon echoed Trump's stick-and-carrot message, saying the two leaders are willing to allow the North a "bright future." Like Trump, Moon invited the Kim government to "come to the table for dialogue on its own."

Trump for the second consecutive was asked about the mass shooting on Sunday that left 26 dead in a small Texas town near San Antonio. And for the second straight day, Trump made clear he opposes tighter gun access legislation in the wake of the Texas church massacre.

The GOP president endorsed the good-guy-with-a-gun concept espoused by Second Amendment enthusiasts, saying stricter laws might have prevented "that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck" from being able to "go out and shoot him (the Texas gunman), and hit him and neutralize him."

Had that not happened, he said, "instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead." (There were not "hundreds" more inside the small-town church, according to reports.)

Trump's bottom line, however, is that new gun laws are "not going to help."

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