Trump Calls off Meeting with North Korea's Kim

News comes just hours after North Korea dismantled a nuclear test site.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday called off his planned June 12 summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a letter released by the White House.

"I was very much looking forward to being there with you," Trump said in the letter. "Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting."

Trump called it "a missed opportunity" and said someday he still hoped to meet Kim.

Earlier Thursday, North Korea repeated a threat to pull out of the unprecedented summit with Trump next month and warned it was prepared for a nuclear showdown with Washington if necessary.

In a statement released by North Korean media, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui had called U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy" for comparing North Korea - a "nuclear weapons state" - to Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi gave up his unfinished nuclear development program, only to be later killed by NATO-backed fighters.

A small group of international media selected by North Korea witnessed the demolition of tunnels at the Punggye-ri site Thursday, which Pyongyang says is proof of its commitment to end nuclear testing.

The apparent destruction of what North Korea says is its only nuclear test site has been widely welcomed as a positive, if largely symbolic, step toward resolving tension over its weapons. 

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US will end like Saddam Hussein did if it attacks Iran – Revolutionary Guards

If the US tries to invade Iran, it will face the same fate that the government of Saddam Hussein did when it launched a war against the Islamic Republic, Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said in a statement.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRSG) said it “will make sure the American regime will end up being destroyed just like Saddam’s regime,” if Washington chooses to go to war.

 
The threat comes after the US withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran and declared a 12-point ultimatum to Tehran, which includes stopping all uranium enrichment, withdrawing militia troops from Iraq and Syria, and otherwise submitting to US foreign policy goals.

Iran rejected the demands and is working with other parties to the deal, including China, Russia, Britain, France, and the EU, which criticized Washington’s decision to pull out of the deal and escalate tensions with Iran.

In the 1980s, Iran and Iraq engaged in a bloody eight-year war which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein received support from Western nations, including the US, despite committing well-documented atrocities like using chemical weapons against Iran.

More than two decades after the inconclusive end to the conflict, the Iraqi leader himself was targeted by the US and its allies, which ousted him during the 2003 invasion. He was later executed by the new Iraqi government.

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Pompeo Says US Will 'Crush' Iran With 'Strongest Sanctions in History'

The tension between the two countries has grown notably since U.S. President Trump; this month withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened Monday to impose the "strongest sanctions in history" against Iran if it did not accept a series of demands from the Donald Trump administration, which includes effectively give up nuclear power initiatives and its conventional ballistic missile program.

RELATED: Pompeo Confirmed US Secretary of State, Begins Middle East Trip

Weeks after the Americans pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, Pompeo spelled out a hardline approach towards the Islamic Republic, potentially setting Washington and Tehran on course for further confrontation.

"The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran," Pompeo said in his first major foreign policy speech since becoming secretary of state.

"These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done," he added.

Pompeo also claimed Iran's policy of expanding its influence in the Middle East through support for some countries such as Syria and Yemen where the U.S. has also sort to extend their influence was unacceptable.

He warned that the United States would "crush" Iranian operatives and allies abroad and told Tehran to withdraw all forces under its command from the Syrian civil war where they back President Bashar al-Assad.

Iran is unlikely to accede to the U.S. demands. The tension between the two countries has grown notably since U.S. President Trump; this month withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Pompeo warned that if Iran fully resumed its nuclear program, Washington would be ready to respond and said the administration would hold companies doing prohibited business in Iran to account.

"Our demands on Iran are not unreasonable: give up your program," Pompeo said, "Should they choose to go back, should they begin to enrich, we are fully prepared to respond to that as well," he said, declining to elaborate.

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Pullout from JCPOA, embassy move US historic mistakes

TEHRAN, May 15 (MNA) – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said that the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and relocation of its embassy to al-Quds were two historic mistakes made by the US administration.

"History will judge that these two decisions have been very incorrect and imprecise towards Iran and the peoples of the region," Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday while meeting with the new ambassador of New Zealand to Tehran.

Referring to the objections of the global community towards these two decisions, Rouhani said "the first outcome of the incorrect decisions is Washington's isolation in the public opinion of the world."

With regard to the bilateral relations between Iran and New Zealand, President Rouhani stressed that Tehran welcomes development of friendly relations with Wellington and referred to the ample potentials for deepening of these relations.

He added "there are good potentials for development of relations between Iran and New Zealand that must be taken advantage of and Tehran is ready to cement scientific, commercial and tourism ties with Wellington".

The Iranian president also appreciated the positive stances of New Zealand on the JCPOA and said "2015 was the year of success of politics and diplomacy over hostility and unfriendly relations among countries and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that constructive interaction with the countries of the world and adoption of a win-win approach will be beneficial for the entire world."

Iran has always been committed to its obligations in the international stage, he said, adding that in the case of the JCPOA, 11 reports by the IAEA verify this and the US' withdrawal from the deal is a political and moral defeat for the US administration.

New Ambassador of New Zealand to Tehran Hamish MacMaster presented his letter of credence to President Rouhani and stressed that Wellington was willing to deepen and cement relations with Tehran in all fields, especially economy.

He added "the two governments and nations of Iran and New Zealand have close, friendly relationship with each other and it is imperative that this relationship is further strengthened."

KI/PR

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Trump: His sins do not keep him awake

The case of porn“actress” Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) for her secret love affairs with President Donald Trump hit the headlines once again.

On Monday, news agency Associated Press (AP) commented her message on TV show “Saturday Night Live”.

The text: “A storm’s a coming, baby”, she said so to actor Alec Baldwin, who played “Trump” in that show.

During the exchange between the two, the actor asks her “What can I give you so all this goes away?”, and she replies: “Your resignation.”

As it is known, Stormy Daniels has filed several defamation suits against both the president and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

Until now, Trump does not admit the allegations.

According to Spanish news agency EFE, the current lawyer of the head of state and former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, told reporters not to rule out the possibility of other similar payments on confidentiality deals over different intimate encounters of the president.

Last Sunday, ABC chain asked Giuliani “Whether Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, had made payments to other women”, and he replied: “I have no knowledge of that; I’d think that if it was necessary, yes.”

Giuliani considers that the payment to Daniels in 2016 is a “nuisance” and points out that Cohen is being investigated on criminal charges now.

For his part, Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ attorney, threw another pretty delicate accusation against the president of having “an extramarital affair slush fund.”

In his statements to ABC, he said it is administered by Michael Cohen and asserted there are other payments of equal concept because of the attention that his team of lawyers has offered to such consultations.

What he said could further jeopardize the president’s controversial authority, but without the slightest doubt, it will not contribute –not even in half an inch– to strengthen it.

Anyway, for the hard-line and insensitive sector that follows Donald Trump, these new disclosures do not keep him awake.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

Lavrov: US Plan on Arab Troops Deployment in Syria 'Sovereignty Violation'

Russia and Egypt are united in their belief that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria. Moscow and Cairo will coordinate actions on this issue, Lavrov said after talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Moscow.

Acting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to discuss topical issues on the international agenda, including the situation in Syria and the Iran nuclear deal, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"We are convinced, like our Egyptian friends, that there is no military solution to this conflict. The adjustment of disputes can be achieved exclusively through political means through a comprehensive cross-Syrian dialogue in full accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the outcome of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue, which was held in Sochi on January 30," Lavrov said.

According to Lavrov, the parties reaffirmed their mutual commitment to the close coordination of Russian-Egyptian actions in the Syrian direction.

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Europe Can No Longer Rely On US To "Protect" It: Angela Merkel

Aachen:  Europe can no longer rely on the United States to protect it, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday, urging the bloc to take its destiny in its own hands.

"It is no longer such that the United States simply protects us, but Europe must take its destiny in its own hands, that's the task of the future," she said, after US President Donald Trump left traditional allies scrambling by ditching the landmark Iran nuclear deal.

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Iran still complying with nuclear deal says UN atomic watchdog chief

The Iranian regime has complied with its nuclear commitments made under the deal signed in 2015, the IAEA director general said in a statement, just one day after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal.

“Iran is subject to the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime under the JCPOA, which is a significant verification gain,” Yukiya Amano said Wednesday, using the full title of the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “As of today, the IAEA can confirm that the nuclear-related commitments are being implemented by Iran.”

The original deal was signed by the Iranian government, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) and the European Union in Vienna on July 14, 2015.

Under the terms, negotiated over a period of 20 months, Iran agreed to eliminate entirely its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its inventory of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent and dispose of approximately two-thirds of its gas centrifuges for a period of 13 years.

In addition, Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment program to not exceed 3.67-percent enrichment, which could only take place in a single facility, using first-generation centrifuges for a period of 10 years. It also vowed not to construct any new heavy-water facilities for 15 years.   

@RT_com EU leaders decry Trump’s withdrawal from Iran deal, vow to work together to maintain it https://on.rt.com/94ur

Trump’s decision has been widely panned among the international community, with many of his European allies issuing statements saying they would not follow the US in dismantling or abandoning the deal but would, instead, work to strengthen it into a broader, more far-reaching agreement. So far, Trump has received support from the governments of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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