Trump: Obama told me that he 'was so close to starting a big war with North Korea'
- WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump claimed Friday that the Obama administration "was so close to starting a big war with North Korea" when asked for details of the second summit between the U.S. and North Korea.
- The president then said that "a lot's been accomplished" since meeting in June with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
- Since 2011, the North Korean leader has fired more than 90 missiles and conducted four nuclear weapons tests, which is more than what his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather, Kim Il Sung, launched over a period of 27 years.
- In 2017 alone, Kim launched 24 missiles and carried out North Korea's largest nuclear test.
- North Korea is the only nation to test nuclear weapons this century.
- The North's arsenal includes short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, intercontinental ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.
- The Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile is the most powerful rocket the North has tested to date.
Kanye West surprised Kim Kardashian on Valentine's Day with a live performance by Kenny G in their living room, which he'd filled with single roses
- Kanye West proved to be pretty romantic on Valentine's Day. The hip hop artist surprised his wife, Kim Kardashian, with a living room filled with long-stemmed roses in individual vases, complete with a live performance by American saxophonist Kenny G.
- Kardashian shared a series of videos on her Instagram Story on Thursday showing the live performance.
- The saxophonist said he got emails from friends of Kanye around 11 p.m. on Wednesday asking him to perform.
- After the perfromance, Kim went on to share a number of videos to her story showcasing the gifts she and her family had received from the rest of the Kardashian clan, including stunning rose bouquets from Kendall and Kylie, and elaborate gift baskets for her and Kanye's three kids.
- She later opened up a heart-shaped cookie and a heart-shaped pizza, putting the icing on the cake of a pretty perfect-looking Valentine's Day. Follow INSIDER on Facebook.
Lawrence Solomon: The strategy behind Trump flattering China and praising Kim Jong Un
- Trump’s praise for the North Korean dictator — and hopes for a breakthrough in negotiating peace — won’t surprise his detractors, either.
- “Kim Jong Un has become yet another authoritarian ruler that Trump simply can’t resist praising,” scoffed Slate, one of many media outlets mocking Trump’s presumed naiveté in foreign affairs and shallowness in judging character.
- In Trump’s high-stakes poker game with Kim, Trump called Kim’s over-the-top threats and raised them, finally forcing “Rocket Man” to fold.
- With Kim browbeaten to the negotiating table and sanctioned to the hilt, Trump then proffered his praise, to save Kim’s face and strengthen his standing at home.
- In coercing Kim to abandon nuclear weaponry, Trump will wield his sticks but also dangle carrots, including the prospect of North Korea as an economic power — a prospect that Trump may sincerely envisage, given South and North Korea’s common goal to reunify.
81-year-old is sole resident of remote, disputed island
- Seoul, South Korea (CNN) - In 1991, Kim Sin-yeol and her husband made the unusual decision to move to a lonely outcrop of islands at the heart of a long-standing territorial dispute between Japan and South Korea.
- But since the death of her husband, Kim Sung-do, last October, the 81-year-old has been the only permanent resident on the volcanic islands.
- Japan says that South Korea is illegally occupying the rocky islands, which it claims have been its sovereign territory since the 17th century.
- South Korea says its claim to the islands, believed to be home to underwater gas reserves, dates back to the sixth century.
- As Kim's health falters, however, her daughter and son-in-law are planning to register as permanent residents of the isolated islands and live with the octogenarian.
North Korea may choose to follow Vietnam's economic model as it looks to open up
- To gauge lessons for its own future, North Korea has long studied communist governments such as China and Vietnam — countries with state-managed growth that have been integrated into the world economy.
- Since last year, Kim has also embarked on a peace offensive to improve relations with the international community, reflected by his landmark meetings with the presidents of South Korea and the U.S. The Southeast Asian nation's gradual path to development is intrinsically appealing to Kim, Fitch Solutions said in a January report.
- Given their respective emphasis on political stability, China and Singapore have also been touted as potential role models for Pyongyang, but both "have their disadvantages in the eyes of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un," Fitch said.
- The lifting of sanctions, coupled with economic reforms and changes in national security policy and international relations, "could help put the North Korean economy on a path of stable growth and economic integration," Babson said.
Chloe Kim will likely retire by 26 because she worries her body will 'fall apart' from snowboarding
- Chloe Kim became a breakout star at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, winning a gold medal at just 17 years old.
- However, Kim may not be long for the sport, despite what would appear to be a promising future, given her young age.
- In an interview with The New York Times' Brian Pinelli, Kim said she is not aiming to compete in three Olympics in hopes of setting any records, in part because she doesn't think her body will hold up.
- Kim is slated to compete in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, and she'll be 21, turning 22.
- David Ramos/Getty Images Despite the physical nature of her sport and the potential for life-altering crashes, Kim would not be among the oldest snowboarders if she were to compete in 2026.
- However, Kim told Pinelli that she has other interests and that snowboarding has occasionally interceded.