2017-3-22 15:58




March 17, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jee Abbey Lee reporting.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hinted Thursday at a toucher strategy to confront North Korea's nuclear threat but said Pyongyang had no need to fear the United States.
The mixed message suggested that the administration is still formulating a clear North Korea policy.
"North Korea and its people need not fear the United States or their neighbors in the region who seek only to live in peace with North Korea. With this in mind, the United States calls on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and refrain from any further provocations. The U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan and its other treaty allies through the full range of our military capabilities is unwavering."
Tillerson noted 20 years of efforts by Washington had failed to dissuade Pyongyang from advancing its nuclear program.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is scheduled to attend his first G-20 meeting in Germany.
Before the meeting with financial leaders Friday, Mnuchin met in Berlin with his German counterpart for a bilateral meeting.
After the meeting, Mnuchin said the new administration will not tolerate any countries that try to value their currencies to gain an unfair trade advantage.
"Our focus is creating economic growth that is good for the United States and good for the rest of the world. And it is not our desire to get into trade wars, it is our desire to deal with where there is imbalance in certain trade relations, that we have a means to address that."
The United States ran a trade deficit of $502 billion last year.
This is VOA news.
The White House has continued to stand by President Donald Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower in New York.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer faced off Thursday against a roomful of reporters who wanted to know why Mr. Trump keeps insisting his claim is true. Top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees say it never happened.
When asked if the administration will apologize to Mr. Obama if the wiretapping claim turns out to be untrue, Spicer had this response.
Ousted U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn was reportedly paid nearly $68,000 by Russian interests in 2015.
The amount largely came from a more than $45,000 fee he got paid by the Kremlin-funded RT television network.
"We're not going to prejudge where the - where this - where the outcome of this is. I think we've got to let the process work its will and then when there's a report that comes out conclusive from there, then we'll be able to comment. But to jump ahead of this process at this point would be inappropriate."
Ousted U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn was reportedly paid nearly $68,000 by Russian interests in 2015.
The amount largely came from a more than $45,000 fee he got paid by the Kremlin-funded RT television network.
Flynn traveled to Moscow to help promote RT's 10th anniversary - a trip that included a gala dinner at which the American general was seated at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he is willing to accept the "fairly dramatic" budget cut President Donald Trump is proposing to his department. He explained the level of government spending seen last year is simply unsustainable.
The White House's "America First" budget proposal aims to boost defense spending and offset the increase with steep cuts in funding for the State Department foreign aid programs and the Environmental Protection Agency.
In Kenya, the manufacturers association says the government's directive to ban plastic bags will hurt more than 170 companies and put at least 60,000 people out of work.
Western African troops have rescued thousands of civilians being held in villages along the Nigerian-Cameroon border by Boko Haram insurgents.
A Cameroonian official said more than 60 insurgents were killed in the operation earlier this month.
For more news, log on to voanews.com. I'm Jee Abbey Lee in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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