Thursday July 2nd, 2020 1:47PM

The Latest: Trump says US, China agree on NKorea nukes

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

8 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. and China agree that North Korea cannot just freeze its nuclear weapons program in exchange for concessions and that it must eliminate its arsenal.

Trump is restating a long-standing U.S. position while suggesting that China now concurs with Washington that a "freeze-for-freeze" agreement is unacceptable.

China and Russia have proposed that as a way to restart long-stalled negotiations, suggesting the North could freeze its nuclear and missile programs in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea stopping regular military drills.

China has not made a public disavowal of the proposal. China said Wednesday it would send a high-level special envoy to North Korea amid an extended chill in relations between the neighbors.

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4:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. and China agree that a "freeze-for-freeze" agreement with North Korea is not acceptable.

Trump was referring to a proposal, backed by both China and Russia, whereby the North would freeze its nuclear program in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea stopping military drills.

Trump said Wednesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) recognizes that a nuclear North Korea is a "grave threat." He says, "We agreed that we would not accept a so-called freeze-for-freeze agreement like those that have consistently failed in the past."

China has not made a public disavowal of its past proposal.

Trump says the goal is to "denuclearize" North Korea.

He says time is running out and the U.S. has made clear "all options remain on the table."

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3:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump has paused an address to the nation about his 12-day Asia trip to take a swig of water — twice.

Trump took a brief break Wednesday to reach for the water during a blow-by-blow account of his foreign travel as president.

Trump first reached into the lectern to seek water but couldn't find any. He then required a helping hand from others in the room to spot the bottle of water on a nearby table. He took another drink a few minutes later.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump frequently mocked then-rival Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's frequent water breaks.

Trump said of Rubio during a 2015 appearance in South Carolina: "Rubio, I've never seen a young guy sweat that much."

Trump added: "He's drinking water, water, water, I never saw anything like this with him with the water."

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3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he'll work "as fast as possible" to eliminate sizable trade deficits with U.S. trading partners.

Trump said Wednesday that a key goal of his just-concluded Asia trip was to insist on fair and reciprocal trade. He says it's "unacceptable" that the U.S. trade deficit with other nations stands at about $800 billion a year.

Trump says, "We are going to start whittling that down as fast as possible." He did not say how he planned to achieve that goal.

Trump is recapping what he says are the successes of his nearly two-week trip to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

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3:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says his trip to Asia showed that America's "standing in the world has never been stronger."

Trump spoke Wednesday from the White House about his five-country Asian tour. He says he wants to update the nation on his "tremendous success."

Trump is calling the trip "historic" and says the United States was treated with "incredible warmth, hospitality and most importantly respect."

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2:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is planning to deliver a statement from the White House on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., following his lengthy tour of Asia.

The president previewed his comments before departing the Philippines, telling reporters he would make a "major statement" about trade and his work to counter the North Korean nuclear threat.

The president arrived in Washington late Tuesday after a nearly two-week trip to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Trump called his trip to Asia "tremendously successful."

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7:40 a.m.

Just back from Asia, President Donald Trump has resumed his morning tweeting routine — this time citing what he's calling a "successful" trip and slamming a regular media target.

The president arrived back at the White House on Tuesday evening after a 12-day tour of Asia, and the tweeting picked up hours later.

He says the United States is "respected again" in the Asia-Pacific region and he asserts that people "will see the fruits of our long but successful trip for many years to come!"

Trump also is back sparring at CNN, one of his favorite media targets.

The president says he was — in his word — "forced" to watch CNN during the trip and —as he puts it — "again realized how bad, and FAKE, it is."

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