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The Latest: Pompeo backs Trump decision to seek 2nd meeting

September 24, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump at the U.N. General Assembly (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

The top U.S. diplomat is defending President Donald Trump’s decision to seek out a second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un even though Kim’s government has not followed through on commitments to halt its nuclear program.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) said Monday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, “We’ve been at this the other way an awfully long time and failed.”

He says, “We tried to do details, we tried to do step for step,” but those were unsuccessful.

Pompeo says, “We’re bringing the two senior leaders, the individuals who can actually make the decisions that will move this process forward,” in hopes they can make a breakthrough.

Trump said Monday he hopes to meet with Kim again “quite soon.”

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12:10 p.m.

France’s top diplomat is decrying what he calls U.S. President Donald Trump’s “mix of unilateralism and isolationism” but says that’s no reason to snub Trump or lock him out of world events.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says the U.N. General Assembly this week will test whether people like Trump are “playing together or playing lone horseman, whether they are seeking solutions or sticking to slogans.”

Le Drian said Monday despite Trump’s America first attitude France still wants Trump to join international ceremonies Nov. 11 in Paris marking the end of World War I “to celebrate the sacrifices of American forces.” Le Drian suggested the ceremonies could remind Trump of the importance of international cooperation.

Trump planned to meet later Monday in New York with French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL’ mah-KROHN’).

Trump says he’s president of the United States, not the world.

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9:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is likely to take place “quite soon.”

Speaking at the United Nations, Trump says the relationship with the country whose leader he branded last year as “Little Rocket Man” is much improved.

He said Monday: “It was a different world. That was a dangerous time. This is one year later, a much different time.”

Trump says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) is working out the details for the second Trump-Kim meeting. Kim requested a second meeting with Trump in a letter this month, and Trump says, “we will be doing that.”

Trump is set to meet with South Korea’s Moon Jae-in later Monday to discuss North Korea and trade details. Moon is expected to convey to Trump a personal message from Kim delivered at their inter-Korean talks last week.

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8:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is at the United Nations for his second general assembly meeting with world leaders since taking office and has participated in a counter-narcotics event. He’s calling for global action to address the illegal movement and abuse of drugs.

The U.S. in sponsoring the U.N. Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem, which includes signatures from 130 U.N. member states pledging to do more to combat the global drug trade.

Trump said Monday, “The scourge of drug addiction continues to claim too many lives in the United States and nations around the world.”

He adds, “Today we commit to fighting the drug epidemic together.”

Trump was elected promising to address U.S. opioid addiction.

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12:45 a.m.

As he begins the sequel to his stormy U.N. debut, President Donald Trump will again confront the dangers posed by North Korea’s nuclear threat, though its shadow may appear somewhat less ominous than a year ago.

Twelve months after Trump stood at the rostrum of the U.N. General Assembly and derided North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man,” the push to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula is a work in progress, although fears of war have given way to dreams of rapprochement.

The president, whose bellicose denunciations of Pyongyang have largely given way to hopeful notes, plans to sit down with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who comes bearing a personal message to Trump from North Korea’s Kim after their inter-Korean talks last week.

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