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Trump ready to meet North Korean leader Kim by May : South Korean official

Thompson Reuters

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WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump is ready to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May in response to Kim’s invitation to hold the first-ever US-North Korea summit, a South Korean envoy said, marking a potentially dramatic breakthrough in the North Korea nuclear standoff.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump “will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined.” She added : “We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”

A meeting between Kim and Trump, who have exchanged bellicose insults in the past year that have raised fear of war, would be a major turnaround after a year in which North Korea has carried out a battery of tests aimed at developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

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“I told him (Trump) that in our meeting that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that he’s committed to denuclearization,” Chung said. “Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.”

“He expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible,” he said. “President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve denuclearization.”

Trump’s aides have been wary of North Korea’s diplomatic overtures because of its history of reneging on international commitments and the failure of efforts on disarmament by the administrations of President Bill Clinton, President George W Bush and President Barack Obama.

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32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say

AP Associated Press

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JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.

Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.

Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.

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“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.

Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.

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