State of the Union: Trump announces second North Korea summit

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US President Donald Trump has announced in his State of the Union speech that he will hold a second nuclear summit with North Korea’s leader this month.

In an address to the nation with the theme “Choosing Greatness”, he vowed once again to build a border wall.

While urging unity, the Republican president also said Democratic attempts at “ridiculous partisan investigations” could damage US prosperity.

In a rebuttal, Democrats accused Mr Trump of abandoning US values.

Mr Trump’s primetime address followed the longest US government shutdown in history.

He provoked the crippling closure of federal agencies by demanding funding for a US-Mexico border wall only to backtrack when Democrats flatly refused.

What did he say about North Korea?

Mr Trump said he would meet Kim Jong-un in Vietnam from 27-28 February.

Plans for a second summit have been in the works since the two leaders’ historic talks last year.

Mr Trump and Mr Kim’s meeting last June in Singapore was the first ever between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

  • North Korea’s missile and nuclear programme
  • When Trump met Kim: What happened next?

On Tuesday night, Mr Trump said: “Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in 15 months.

“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.

“Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one.”

What did he say about political unity?

After two years of toxic partisanship, Mr Trump on Tuesday night repeated calls for political unity that he has made in his last two annual speeches to Congress.

“Together, we can break decades of political stalemate,” he said. “We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions.”

Mr Trump raised potential areas of agreement, such as infrastructure improvements, lowering prescription drug costs and fighting childhood cancer.

But he added: “An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations.”

Democrats have been planning a series of inquiries into the Trump administration since they took over the US House of Representatives last month.

A special prosecutor is still investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, which the president and Moscow deny.

  • Pride of place for a boy called Trump

Hours before the speech, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader of the Senate, accused Mr Trump of “sowing a state of disunion” for most of the year.

In a private lunch with news anchors at the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump reportedly called Mr Schumer “nasty”, using an offensive term.

As Mr Trump delivered his primetime speech on Tuesday, his chief congressional antagonist was sitting at the rostrum over his shoulder.

The Democratic leader of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, led resistance to the president’s demands for wall funding.

How did Democrats respond?

Stacey Abrams, who lost her race last year to be governor of Georgia, delivered the Democrats’ response to Trump.

She was the first African-American woman to deliver the party’s rebuttal.

Ms Abrams said: “The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the president of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people – but our values.”

Democratic female lawmakers who attended Mr Trump’s speech wore white to celebrate the 100th anniversary of American women gaining the right to vote.

They sat stony-faced as their Republican counterparts rose to their feet for the applause lines.

But Democrats pleasantly surprised Mr Trump by awarding him a standing ovation when he said there were more women in the workforce and in Congress than ever before.

“That’s great!” said the president of their reaction. “Really great.”

A rare moment of togetherness

At the scene – By Tara McKelvey, BBC News

Despite the president’s call for unity, the reception from Democrats was frosty for most of the evening.

Meanwhile, Republicans shouted their approval – especially when Mr Trump talked about the wall along the southern border.

When the president said: “The state of our union is strong”, members of his party stood and chanted: “USA!”

The Democrats stayed in their chairs. But then the mood changed.

As the president noted the record number of women in Congress, Democrats gave a standing ovation – and they began shouting: “USA!”

Republicans joined in – they all chanted together.

Bitter legislative adversaries experienced a rare, happy moment of togetherness. And the president was right in the middle of it.

What did he say about foreign wars?

Mr Trump said his administration was holding “constructive talks” with the Taliban to find a solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

“The hour has come to at least try for peace,” he added.

The president also said “virtually all” of the territory once occupied in Syria and Iraq by the Islamic State group had been liberated from “these bloodthirsty monsters”.

“It is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home,” he told the chamber.

He said 7,000 US troops had died and more than $7tn (£5.4tn) had been spent by America on nearly two decades of war in the Middle East.

“Great nations do not fight endless wars,” said the president, who campaigned on an ‘America First’ platform.

What did Trump say on border security?

The president vowed once again to build wall on the border, calling illegal immigration “an urgent national crisis”.

But he refrained from declaring a border emergency that would allow him to bypass Congress for wall money.

With another government shutdown deadline looming next week, the president has few options to fund a border wall.

Mr Trump told his audience that working class Americans pay the price for illegal immigration.

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