George W. Bush looks out at North Korea from the Demilitarized Zone, the tense military border between the two Koreas in 2002. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Former president George W. Bush criticized the Trump administration's decision to add North Korea to the travel ban this past week, Business Insider reports, citing a "source present at the dinner."

Bush reportedly said the U.S. should be encouraging dissidents and defectors to seek freedom from the North Korean regime, but suggested banning their travel to the U.S. doesn't contribute to that goal. His spokesperson told Business Insider that Bush didn't address Trump or the travel ban specifically, and instead was speaking "in broader strokes, welcoming and supporting dissidents."

One last nugget: When asked if he thought the Korean peninsula would ever reunify, Bush answered "not in my lifetime."

Bush was speaking at The Korea Society's annual dinner in New York city with about 400 guests present.

Go deeper with The Washington Post's Emily Rauhala: "Almost no North Koreans travel to the U.S., so why ban them?" Rauhala notes, "very few [North Koreans] — almost none — make the trip."

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 4,742,277 — Total deaths: 156,133 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — New York ER doctor on pandemic advice: "We know what works"
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll Atrium Health CEO says "virtual hospital" has treated 13,000 COVID patients.
  5. Politics: Republicans push to expand small business loan program Trump tells "Axios on HBO" that pandemic is "under control," despite surges in infections.
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