Mar 16, 2018

Report: North Korea "surprised" Trump agreed to meeting

Joseph Yun, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy. Photo: Toru Yamanaka / AFP / Pool/Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Ambassador Joseph Yun, former "U.S. point man on North Korea," said the regime was "a little bit surprised that...President Trump readily accepted" the offer of a meeting, CNN reports.

The bigger picture: North Korea has wanted to meet with President Trump for a while, reports CNN, but "lack of agreement within the Trump administration" on how to approach the situation delayed it. Yun said this approach with North Korea has to be different from past attempts, because they already have threatening nuclear power, where as before "we were trying to stop them from getting there."

  • Yun believes the potential meeting is "a great outcome."
  • He said that Trump needs to illustrate that the U.S. doesn't have "hostile intent" against the regime, and only wants it to denuclearize.
  • Per CNN, Yun encouraged North Korean officials to release the three imprisoned Americans after Trump accepted the invitation to meet, telling them it would "be an incredibly good time," and a "very positive message."

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Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship

Thomas Modly. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned Tuesday after apologizing for comments he made about Capt. Brett Crozier, who was removed when a letter he wrote pleading with the Navy to address the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt was leaked to the press. The resignation was first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: The controversy over Crozier's removal was exacerbated after audio leaked of Modly's address to the crew, in which he said Crozier was either "too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this." After initially backing Modly's decision, President Trump said at a briefing Monday that he would "get involved."

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Appeals court allows Texas abortion ban to remain during coronavirus outbreak

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal appeals court in Texas ruled 2-1 in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: Abbott last month issued the order banning elective procedures in an effort to save medical supplies like masks and gowns for health workers treating the coronavirus. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton noted one day later that the order applied to abortions — unless the woman's life is at risk.

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  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill.
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