World

Trump defends border, North Korea policies

US President says his people are doing 'a good job' at border

LAS VEGAS: US President Donald Trump defended his tough stance on immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border on Saturday, praising his administration for a job well done and saying his approach will make the US stronger.

Mr Trump, who was in Las Vegas to lend support to US Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, a Republican facing a stiff challenge to re-election, has been under fire for a policy that separates children from their parents when they illegally cross the US border with Mexico.

Amid a fierce outcry, Mr Trump reversed himself on Wednesday and signed an executive order to abandon the policy, but the fate of more than 2,300 children already separated from their parents before the order was enacted is unknown.

"My people are actually doing a good job," Mr Trump said in a speech at the Nevada Republican Party state convention.

He said with a 3.8 per cent jobless rate, the US needs immigrants for jobs that need to be filled, but he wants them to be legal immigrants.

"We need people to come in, but they have to be people that love this country, can love our country and can help us make America great again," he said.

Protests against the separation of illegal immigrant parents from their children continued on Saturday in Florida, California and Texas. Outside a US Border Patrol processing facility in McAllen, Texas, a crowd of more than 100 demonstrators briefly blocked a bus carrying immigrants before law enforcement cleared the way.

Mr Trump has also drawn criticism from national security analysts for an agreement that emerged from his Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that had few details on how Pyongyang would surrender its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

At a roundtable with business leaders after his speech, Mr Trump said he believes North Korea will engage in "total denuclearisation".

He said the agreement is paying off in terms of the North's suspension of nuclear weapon tests and missile tests, as well as the planned surrender of the remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean War and the lowering of tensions in the region.

On Mr Kim, he said: "We have good chemistry. We get along great. He is a smart, tough guy. He is a great negotiator."

Addressing the Senate race in Nevada, where Democratic US Representative Jacky Rosen is challenging Mr Heller, Mr Trump took aim in his convention speech at a favourite Democratic target, US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who was campaigning with Mrs Rosen elsewhere in the state.

He revived a derogatory nickname for Ms Warren - Pocahontas - and said he had a nickname for Mrs Rosen as well:Wacky Jacky.

Mrs Rosen fired back quickly,saying on Twitter: "Is that the best you've got, @realdonaldtrump? Let's fight back. Chip in now." And she included a link to contribute to her campaign. - REUTERS

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