Archives
  • Xinhua/Lu Rui via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly one year before President Donald Trump's historic handshake with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, the president painted a very different picture of the "brutality" of the Kim regime following the release of an American student who was in a coma.Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old who attended the University of Virginia, was evacuated to a medical center in Cincinnati in an unresponsive state on July 13, 2017, after close to a year and a half in captivity.Warmbier, who was on a five-day tour of North Korea, was arrested and accused of stealing a propaganda poster. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.A family statement issued on the eve of his release said that they had just learned of the coma one week before, and expressed joy at the prospect of being reunited."We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korea," the statement read. "We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who love him."Six days later, Warmbier would be dead.North Korea claimed he slipped into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill shortly after his sentencing.Warmbier's detainment lasted until a special envoy sent by Trump secured his release almost 17 months after his arrest.Doctors from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Warmbier was taken, said he suffered from injuries related to cardiopulmonary arrest and was in a state of unresponsive wakefulness, adding that scans showed extensive loss of tissue in all regions of his brain and that they found no evidence of botulism.After Warmbier passed, Trump sent his condolences to the family and condemned "the brutality of the North Korean regime" in a statement.The Warmbier family has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against North Korea, claiming the regime tortured and killed their son.Otto's parents, Cindy and Fred, were recognized in January at Trump's first State of the Union -- a moment that brought tears to Cindy's eyes. His parents reiterated their commitment to exposing North Korea's human rights violations at a U.N. symposium May 3."We are trying to build a pathway that leads directly to Kim and his regime to force them to be answerable for their actions," Fred said.As Trump sat next to Kim Jong Un Tuesday during the summit in Singapore, a reporter asked the president for comment on Warmbier.Trump, who was signing a joint document with the North Korean dictator at the moment, did not respond to the query.
    Read more...
  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is the latest step in what previously had been a tense and combustible public relationship between the two men.The two famously exchanged explosive words in the past, with Trump calling Kim “little rocket man” and saying that continued threats against the U.S. would be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”North Korea, meanwhile, once promised “thousands-fold” revenge against the U.S.The degree to which Trump and Kim continue to tamper their rhetoric remains to be seen.Here is a detailed timeline showing how the war of words escalated throughout the course of Trump’s transition and administration.Jan. 2, 2017Trump tweeted about possible advancements in North Korean technology."North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!" he wrote.April 11, 2017A statement from North Korea's Foreign Ministry was read on state television before a U.S. aircraft carrier group arrived in the region for a military exercise with South Korea."The United States' dispatching of its nuclear carrier task group in the waters off the peninsula proves that its reckless moves for invading North Korea have reached a serious phase. If the U.S. dares opt for military action, then North Korea is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.," the Foreign Ministry said, according to PBS.April 18, 2017North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol said that an "all-out war" would result if the U.S. was "reckless enough to use military means," according to the BBC."If the U.S. is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method," he said.April 24, 2017During a lunch with ambassadors representing the member countries of the United Nations Security Council, Trump touched on how the group's policy toward North Korea needs to change."The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable, and the council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs. This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not. North Korea is a big world problem, and it's a problem we have to finally solve. People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it's time to solve the problem," he said.April 28, 2017
    Read more...
  • MCI via Getty Images(SENTOSA ISLAND, Singapore) -- Even though the big meeting isn't on the schedule until Tuesday in Singapore, there were still plenty of interesting developments over the course of the first full day that President Donald Trump has been in the city.Here is a rundown of the biggest actions that took place overnight, as Singapore is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.1. New details about Trump’s first meeting with Kim Jong UnPresident Trump's first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be held one-on-one, according to a White House official.While the White House update detailed the size of the meeting, the expected length of the meeting hasn't been released.The official did not rule out the possibility that additional activities could be added to tomorrow's schedule, beyond the two planned meetings with Kim, ABC News' Jordyn Phelps reports.Asked about a North Korean state media report that Trump and Kim were set to talk denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula, the official said the report is a hopeful indication."I think we should take some optimism from that reporting," the official said. "Given the history of the way KCNA has reported, I think that is a sign for optimism."Trump himself seemed optimistic as well."We’ve got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow," Trump said at a luncheon with the Singapore prime minister on Monday. "I think things could work out very nicely. We appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and friendship."2. Pompeo tweeting out some closed-door momentsSecretary of State Mike Pompeo's Twitter feed was busy during the first day of the summit, sharing photos of different meetings.The first came early in the day, showing a glimpse of his morning briefing with Ambassador Sung Kim, the South Korean-born American diplomat who is the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines. Kim has led the U.S. team at the demilitarized zone working on a joint communique with North Korea.Later, Pompeo shared a picture of Trump speaking with the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.The event was closed to press, so the only specific details from inside came from Pompeo, who didn't directly quote the president in his tweet.White House director of social media Dan Scavino later tweeted some more pictures from the event, which was held at the Shangri-La Hotel and not at the embassy itself.3. Trade still top of mindTrump went from one global leadership summit to another this weekend, leaving the G-7 conference in Canada to fly to Singapore. And based on the tweets that Trump sent Monday morning, it doesn’t seem like he left his baggage from the first summit at the door.After more than a day’s silence on Twitter, Trump posted four tweets about trade disagreements that were the talk of the G-7 conference, followed by a quick mention of the summit he is now attending -- writing “Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!” -- before turning back to tweeting about trade once more.4. A big display with the summit hostWhile the main attraction of the summit will inevitably be the historic meeting between Trump and Kim, that wasn't the first world leader he met with on this trip.He had his first formal meeting of the summit with the prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong.They first met one-on-one before expanding the group for a working lunch.5. Celebrating earlyThere was a sweet ending to the working lunch: an early birthday cake for Trump.The foreign minister of Singapore tweeted out a picture of the cake presented to Trump at the luncheon today in Singapore.Trump was pictured with the cake, delivered three days before his actual birthday.
    Read more...
  • Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- As Britain formally celebrated Queen Elizabeth's 92nd birthday Saturday in the annual Trooping the Colour military spectacle, one familiar face was noticeably absent from the monarch’s carriage and by her side on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is celebrating his 97th birthday Sunday.Fittingly, as husband to the Queen, the world’s oldest head of state and the longest-serving monarch in British history, Philip is the longest-serving consort in British history.But he did not participate in the festivities in central London Saturday, following his retirement from royal duties in August last year following 65 years of public service.The couple married on November 20, 1947, before Elizabeth became Queen following the death of her father, King George VI.Philip and Elizabeth celebrated more than 70 years of marriage in their anniversary in 2017.There have been concerns for his health, and the Duke has been admitted to the hospital for a number of ailments in recent years, including hip and abdominal surgery and bladder infections.Most recently, he underwent a hip replacement operation in April, which kept him in the hospital for several weeks.Philip was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1921 in Corfu, Greece. He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet just before World War II broke out in 1939.Having met the young Princess Elizabeth at a wedding in 1934, they courted before he asked her father for her hand in marriage.He renounced his European titles and became a naturalized British subject ahead of their wedding in 1947. He was made Duke of Edinburgh by King George VI.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
    Read more...
  • ABCNews.com(SEOUL, South Korea) -- On the streets of Seoul, a euphoric mood for peace has filled the air ahead of next Tuesday’s historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.Many await cautiously, however, hoping for a successful outcome to the groundbreaking meeting. The aftermath of the summit will deeply affect the future of permanent peace and security for South Koreans, who have had to endure nuclear threats from the North and talk of war from Washington over the last year.“I feel good about inter-Korean relations improving nowadays. I hope the dialogue with the United States goes well so that end of [the] war can be declared in my country,” said Kim Tae-kyung, a college student.“The meeting was put off once,” another college student, Choi Hyun Jung, told ABC News, referring to Trump’s cancellation of the summit last month, before reversing course just a few days later. “I’m relieved that it came back on. I wish there would be peace in the Korean peninsula as a result of successful summit.”Still, some on Seoul wonder whether they can trust two leaders who can be so unpredictable.“We do not exactly know what Kim Jong Un has in mind. We do not know the intention of President Trump,” Shin Beom Chul, director at Asian Institute for Policy Studies, told ABC News.Trump may only be coming to the table to use the summit to gain political advantages in U.S. domestic politics; Kim has already succeeded in improving his image and stature as a substantial leader of a nuclear country even before coming to the table.“North Korea wants to normalize, make Kim Jong Un a normal leader in the international community. The leader who can compete with all the leaders and be treated as an international leader. That is their goal,” said Shin.Further, some worried if the two leaders may be trying to one-up each other.“President Trump might have a political calculation in mind, so I wonder Kim Jong Un would give in to that,” Lee Hae-deuk, a businesswoman, told ABC News.In Seoul, some resent being left out of the historic event, especially since the North Korean nuclear threat most affects South Koreans.“As a Korean citizen, I feel unfortunate that other powerful nations had to be involved while it should be handled in our own hands,” said Yoon Dong-hoo, a recent college graduate who is seeking for a job.“North Korea argues that their nuclear problem is a problem with the United States, but they pose [a] nuclear threat to South Korea. So it is our own problem,” said Shin, who argues that the South Korean government and the people should be more actively engaged in the process.
    Read more...