Daily Archives: November 17, 2017

More Photos of the Foreign Trip

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, joined by President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan, right, are given a tour, Wednesday, November 8, 2017, of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping meet children waving Chinese and U.S. flags at welcoming ceremonies outside the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, November 9, 2017, in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, November 9, 2017, in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump participates in a business event with President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, November 9, 2017, in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump, joined by members of the U.S. delegation, meets with Premier Li Keqiang of the People’s Republic of China, Thursday, November 9, 2017, at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, joined by President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan, applaud and thank the performers at a cultural performance at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, November 9, 2017, following a State Dinner in their honor, in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

VIETNAM

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at the APEC CEO Summit at the Ariyana Da Nang Exhibition Center, Friday, November 10, 2017, in Da Nang, Vietnam.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump embraces a U.S. Vietnam veteran, after signing a proclamation commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, at ceremonies Friday, November 10, 2017, in Da Nang, Vietnam.

(Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

President Donald J. Trump and President Tran Dai Quang participate in a welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace, Sunday, November 12, 2017, in Hanoi, Vietnam.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with Secretary General of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong at the Communist Party of Vietnam Headquarters, Sunday, November 12, 2017, in Hanoi, Vietnam.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with Socialist Republic of Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in the Council Chamber at the Office of Government, Sunday, November 12, 2017, in Hanoi, Vietnam.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump departs Noi Bai International Airport, Sunday, November 12, 2017, in Hanoi, Vietnam, en route to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, in Manila, Philippines.

(Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

PHILIPPINES

President Donald J. Trump arrives at the Cultural Center of the Philippines for the 31st ASEAN Summit, Monday, November 13, 2017, and is greeted by President Rodrigo Duterte and Ms. Honeylet Avancena, spouse of President Duterte, in Manila, Philippines.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump poses for family photos in the opening ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Monday, November 13, 2017, in Manila, Philippines.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump and ASEAN Leaders pose for a family photo prior to participating in the 40th U.S.-ASEAN Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center, Monday, November 13, 2017, in Manila, Philippines.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte at the Philippine International Convention Center, Monday, November 13, 2017, in Manila, Philippines.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

WASHINGTON, D.C.

President Donald J. Trump, aboard Marine One, arrives back to the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, November 14, 2017, concluding his twelve-day, five-nation Asia trip.

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, 11/17/2017, #33

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

3:00 P.M. EST

MS. SANDERS: Good afternoon. Yesterday, momentum continued to build behind our plan to deliver massive tax relief and job creation for the American people. The House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the Senate Finance Committee passed its companion tax reform bill. These were important moments as we move closer to a final vote.

In recent months, we’ve heard from American entrepreneurs, workers, and families from every corner of our nation about how this plan will empower them to build a better life.

In Pennsylvania, Susie Schlomann said that our plan will be “incredible for me and other fixed-income retirees,” because tax relief is targeted at the middle class.

In Ohio, Kristina Port — a small business owner who raised twins as a single mother while launching her company — said the increase in the child tax credit would help working mothers. She also said simplifying the complex tax code would ease the burden on entrepreneurs and allow them to devote more of their time to growing their business, rather than wrestling with their taxes.

In state after state, story after story, we’ve heard how our plan will profoundly improve the lives of hardworking Americans. The optimism is coming back, because with this tax plan — combined with the President’s efforts to eliminate job-killing regulations — Americans feel like their goals are once again attainable.

It’s a reminder of one of the things that made our country unique to begin with. Our people have always been able to visualize a future for themselves and their children and make it a reality. That’s why it’s called the “American Dream,” and this tax plan will make it more attainable for more of our people than ever before.

But for this to happen, we need economic growth that makes it possible for businesses to create jobs and raise wages. So to give some perspective on how our tax plan is going to do that, I’ve invited Kevin Hassett, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, to join us in the briefing today. Kevin will say a few words and then take some questions specific to this topic. And, as always, I will come back up to take the rest of your questions after that, which I’m sure will all be on tax reform. (Laughter.)

So, with that, I’ll turn it over to Kevin.

MR. HASSETT: Thanks, Sarah. Thanks. And it’s a pleasure to be here to see so many familiar faces. You know, last week I had the honor of chairing the Economic Policy Committee meeting at the OECD in Paris. And the Economic Policy Committee is one of the oldest committees in OECD, and it brings together people, like the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, from countries around the OECD.

And, at the meeting, they were going through the staff recommendations of the OECD for creating economic growth in countries around the world. And the three main points of the staff recommendations were tax reform, infrastructure, and deregulation — that if the government pursues those things, then they can produce more economic growth.

In fact, there was widespread acclaim for the President’s approach towards corporate taxation in particular, because the OECD has been calling for us to reform our corporate tax code for almost a decade.

And so the idea right now that this corporate tax reform is close to the finish line is celebrated not only by us at the White House, but by people around the world who have recognized that us having a non-competitive tax code, the highest corporate tax on Earth, a worldwide system that rewards companies for locating activity elsewhere, is bad not only for us but for the world economy — because a vibrant U.S. economy is good even for our friends in the OECD.

And, with that, I’m pleased to see that the House Ways and Means Committee and then the House have passed this bill, and that it’s out of the Finance Committee — I look forward to the Senate moving forward right after the Thanksgiving break.

And, I guess, I promised — I’m not good at this. I don’t know what the protocol is, but I’ll start in the front row and then work back.

Q Perfect. (Laughter.)

MR. HASSETT: Yeah, that’s right. I’m just an economist.

Q Kevin, I know you’re an economist but there’s obviously a political component to all of this. You got at least six senators up on the Hill, including Ron Johnson, saying that they can’t support the bill in its current form or they have serious concerns about it. You can only afford to lose two. Are you confident that you can get this passed through the Senate? Or could the President run into another situation, like he did with Obamacare? That he wins the House and then loses everything in the Senate.

MR. HASSETT: Look, there’s an old joke about economists, that there are three types: those who can count and those who can’t. (Laughter.) And it takes a while for that one to sink in. And the fact is that the President has supported, from the beginning, regular order because he doesn’t think that we have to wait until the thing becomes law to learn what’s in it; that the right thing to do is to expose the bills to scrutiny and debate.

And Senator Johnson — I met with him yesterday in his office — has some serious concerns, and it’s appropriate at this point in legislative process to bring those forward. And I’m hopeful that people can work it out and that everybody, even Democrats, will end up wanting to vote for it.

And so I’m not sure about the etiquette for follow-ups, so I’ll try to limit people to one because there’s a lot of hands.

Q What makes you think trickle-down economics is going to work this time when it hasn’t worked before?

MR. HASSETT: So trickle-down economics is something that, I guess, people who criticize the idea that taxes affect the economy will use to characterize approaches like the one that we’re pursuing. But I don’t think the idea that’s celebrated by even the non-partisan staff of the OECD — that if you have lower marginal rates, you get economic growth — is voodoo economics or controversial at all.

And yeah, the fact is that countries around the world have cut their corporate rates and had broad-based reforms, like we’re doing on the individual side, and then seeing economic growth result.

I don’t think there’s anybody who thinks that you’ll get no growth or negative growth for this. Maybe there are a few people. But in every economic model I’ve seen, you get growth — either a lot of growth, or sometimes if it’s a closed economy model, a little growth. But you get positive growth out of this. And that growth will benefit workers, and let’s talk about that.

So, right now, the way a U.S. firm avoids U.S. tax is they locate activity, say, in a country like Ireland instead of here. And so if you build a plant in Ireland, then you can sell the stuff back into the U.S. And when you sell the stuff back into the U.S., then it increase the trade deficit and doesn’t do anything for American workers, but it does increase the demand for Irish workers and drive up their wages.

And so what the President wants to do is cut the rate to 20 percent and build guardrails around the tax code so that people can’t transfer price — everything to Ireland anymore. And if we do that, then the people who benefit will be the workers here in the U.S. who have increased demand for their jobs.

Q And the incentive —

MR. HASSETT: I said no follow-ups. So I’m going to back this way and then I’m going to switch sides. I’m sorry I don’t know everybody’s names here.

Q One of Senator Johnson’s concerns is that this bill does not do enough for medium-sized and small businesses. Can you talk about what the bill does do for medium-size and small businesses?

MR. HASSETT: Sure. And the fact is that I want to remind everybody that the President has, really, three main non-negotiables for this bill: that there is a 20 percent corporate tax rate; that there’s a big middle-class tax cut; and that the bill simplified the tax code. And we believe, after analyzing the progress on the Hill, that both approaches satisfy the three main objectives.

And so the question then is, moving forward, what do they do about pass-through entities? What do they do about this, what do they do about that? And we at the White House don’t want to get ahead of that process.

The President supports regular order because that’s really how deals get made and how bills become law. The fact is, it’s urgent that we get a 20 percent rate for America’s workers. And it’s urgent that we get a middle-class tax cut for America’s workers. And the details about like exactly when the small business things kick in and out are things that we’re watching them work out up on the Hill. And we encourage them to pursue regular order because they need to listen to everybody and get the votes they need to make this law.

I’ll go to the lady, right there.

Q One of the major differences between the House and the Senate bill is the elimination of the non-taxable tuition waivers. So while they’re trying to reconcile their differences on that tax reform bill, what do you foresee which could potentially move this tax burden to a lot of young Americans?

MR. HASSETT: That’s the kind of detail that we’re letting Congress work out. The fact is that they’re finding the coalitions that they need to pass the bills in the House and the Senate. And we support that process. We support regular order. We support the transparency that leading debate about issues like this.

Sorry, now I said I’d come over here. Yeah.

Q Kevin, thanks for being here. On one of your TV appearances yesterday, you said that an average family, when this is all said and done, could accumulate a savings benefit of $4,000. That’s a lot of money.

MR. HASSETT: That’s a lot of money.

Q Can you walk us through that?

MR. HASSETT: Sure. And for those of you — and I see some nerdy-looking people out there, so I’m sure that there’s people that want to do this — (laughter) — that we’ve got two CEA reports that go through this in gory detail. And the fact is that you can get to numbers like that four different ways.

I won’t try to do that now in the limited time that we have, but the basic idea is that back when we increased our corporate tax rate from 34 to 35 percent, we were kind of in the middle of the pack of OECD nations. Subsequently, what happened was that countries around the world found that when they cut the corporate tax, that their economic activity increased and the welfare of their workers improved. And then they very often did it again.

A typical country, since our tax increase, has cut its corporate rate two or maybe even three times. And for economists, what that does is it gives us an enormous amount of data to analyze because there are countries that change their rate and countries that don’t. And you can compare the experiences of those two types of countries.

There’s a big peer-review literature that looks at that, including a paper that’s by a German economist — that’s about to come out in the American Economic Review. And what we do is we go through all those papers and we have charts that show, well, if this paper is true, what wage effect do you get. And most of the action is well north of $4,000. And that’s where the number comes from.

I’ll go in the middle, with the orange tie.

Q One of the criticisms, Kevin, of the tax reform proposal is that the corporate tax rate is cut permanently. The individual tax rate phases out after 10 years. Why, in your view, is that such a good idea?

MR. HASSETT: So the President supports permanent tax cuts for the middle class and permanent tax cuts for corporations. And that’s certainly the objective of the planners of this tax bill. But there are also Senate budget rules and reconciliation rules that are required to allow this bill to move forward with 51 votes.

Of course, the hope for everybody is that when the time comes for these things to expire, that they get extended, as happens — I might add — even for the top marginal rate when President Obama came into office. And so they extended most of the Bush tax cuts. But even the top rate, at the beginning — which interestingly they must have done because they knew that if you were to increase the top marginal tax rate during a recession, that it would be very harmful for the economy.

So, back then, there was bipartisan support for the idea that you should not lift the top marginal rate. And so there should be bipartisan support. There would be economic growth effects of bringing it down right now.

I’ll go back down into the middle there.

Q Hi, Emma Robinson, One America News. The two bills are different in that the House bill repeals or does away with the estate tax and the Senate doesn’t. And I know that was a big point for the administration, and Vice President Pence has voiced his support for repealing the death tax, as they call it. What are your thoughts on that? And do you think a final bill will include a repeal of it?

MR. HASSERTT: I think that — again, that’s one of the things that the Senate and the House are working out. I know that the President very strongly favors the elimination of the death tax. And if that is in the final bill, I’m sure that he’ll be happy about that. But he’s listed his non-negotiables, and those non-negotiables I cited at the beginning.

I’ll go back to the far back now.

Q Thank you, Kevin. I appreciate it. Can you talk about this moment earlier in the week at the Wall Street Journal event? Gary Cohn was on stage, and the moderator asked a group of CEOs, “If tax reform passes, who here is going to increase their investment?” And only a couple of hands went up in the room. Gary Cohn said, why aren’t there more hands going up?

Can you answer that question? Why aren’t there more hands going up in a room like that? You would assume that CEOs would say, yes, in fact, we are going to invest more if tax reform passes. Is the administration missing something there?

MR. HASSETT: So that’s a great question. And I went on a little bit after Gary Cohn, and when they asked that question, it was kind of hard for me because, like here, they are really bright lights, but even brighter there, and so I couldn’t quite see how many hands there were. But when I was there, it looked like maybe about half the hands went up. And I think if you go back and look, that it could be that people had time to think about it.

But as an economist, if I go back and look at the academic literature, very often people survey CFOs, and they say, hey, if we change the tax code, would you guys do anything? And they tend to always answer “no” in surveys. But if you look at the hard evidence about what they do, imagine if they didn’t respond to taxes, then they wouldn’t be pursuing their fiduciary duty to maximize profits for their shareholders. So it would be totally irrational for them to do that. And firms that did act rationally in response to the tax code would put them out of business by taking advantage of the tax code.

So the point is — the hard evidence is that people do respond. In fact, one of my very, very first papers that I ever wrote when I got out of grad school is the Brookings papers where we looked at the 1986 tax act, the changes that it made to the business tax code and how it affected investment. And there were very large effects.

Right here in the front.

Q Yes, yes. Gene Sperling, who was once in your position in another administration, says that this tax plan — be it historic — costs $1.5 trillion and it’s a deficit hole. And he says that basically — this is in a tweet. I’m just paraphrasing his tweet. He says, it basically doesn’t justify that cost for 100 million households for a tax increase.

MR. HASSETT: Well, I respect Gene a great deal and consider him a friend, and I disagree with him about that. And I’m sure we’ll at some point have a chance to talk about that.

But here’s the way I think about it and what I would say to Gene if he was here: That if you look at the Joint Tax Committee’s score, in the 10th year they say that the tax bill costs about $170 billion. If you look at the CBO projection of GDP, then in the 10th year GDP is about $28 trillion. And so the amount of deficit that you’re talking relative to GDP in the 10th year is only 0.6 percent. It doesn’t take a heck of a lot of economic growth to cover that hole by the 10th year.

And so the idea that right now we have the highest corporate tax on Earth generating almost no revenue — because people avoid the tax by moving factories to Ireland — that if we fix that, if we repair it and make the U.S. an attractive place again, that it’s going to blow a hole in the deficit — it’s just not economically rational.

And I know that the Joint Tax Committee score says what it says, and I respect the professionals in that staff, but the fact is that the OECD has a study, which we’d be happy to email you, that says that the U.S. in the corporate tax space is on the wrong side of the Laffer Curve; that we’ve got such a high corporate tax rate that we’re chasing business offshore and losing revenue.

And so the idea that this blows a hole in the deficit I think is just incorrect.

I’ll go to the purple tie.

Q I want to pick up where John, right in front of me, left off when he asked about the phase-out on the individual side. You’re an economist; however, the two answers that you gave were both political. One, there’s reconciliation rules. And two, hopefully politicians down the line solve it. But like I mentioned, you’re an economist. So can you not make an economic argument as to why this is good economically for people?

MR. HASSETT: Oh, is it good for things to expire?

Q Correct. Is there an economic argument as to why this is good for the country as it stands right now to expire within eight years or so?

MR. HASSETT: If you lower marginal tax rates, broaden the base, lower rates, give the middle class a tax cut, if you cut the corporate rate — if you do any of those things, they’re positive for economic growth. And they’re less positive for growth if they expire.

Expensing is kind of a strange thing in the sense that if you have expensing for a year, if you go back and look at U.S. history, very often in recessions, they’ll put in expensing for a year to try to stimulate the economy. When expensing expires, it could actually have a short-run stimulus because people try to buy capital before the thing goes away.

But for the most part, permanent tax cuts are far more impactful than things that expire — which is why if you go back and look at the Obama administration, when they were here during the beginning of the Great Recession, they even extended the Bush tax cuts at the top because they understood this.

Can I go right here? And then I’ll come to you, and then that might be the last question because Sarah is standing.

Q I actually want to follow up on that, though. You all made a value judgment to make the corporate tax cuts permanent and to make the individual tax cuts expire, even though you want all of them to be permanent. What’s the rationale for having corporations have that certainty of knowing that they don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen in Washington while families are going to have to worry about what politicians do six, seven years now?

MR. HASSETT: Sure. Well, those are the kind of things that are being worked out by Congress in order to create a bill that under Senate and House rules can become law. And the non-negotiables for us are both met in both bills, and we consider that good news. But the choices that the Senate has to make in order to acquire a coalition to make this law are choices that the Senate has to make. And we don’t want to get in front of that process.

Q You don’t see the value one way or the other, whether the corporate tax cuts versus —

MR. HASSETT: I think tax cuts that are permanent, of course, will have large positive effects.

I’ll give you the last.

Q Kevin, you’ve melded politics and economics here quite successfully, and I want to ask you a political and economic question. You’ve talked about growth covering what the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Tax Committee say could be a deficit hole, a deficit implication of $1.5 trillion. That is going to be measurable over time. There’s going to be a means by which either dynamic scoring or static scoring answers that question.

And since it’s on the mind of some of your undecided Republican senators, is this administration willing to commit to a review five years in to see if the growth models have held along your lines and the deficit implications aren’t as large — or, if they aren’t, to reassess these tax cuts in order not to blow a hole in the deficit?

MR. HASSETT: You know, I have not discussed with the President, and I don’t think Sarah has, what we’re willing to commit to in terms of what we do five years from now. But I can tell you —

Q Do you think there would be —

MR. HASSETT: But let me talk about what we can be clear about today, which is that, as the President came into office, the President’s opponents were saying that 2 percent growth was inevitable, that we were stuck in a secular stagnation; that the President’s policies couldn’t deliver 3 percent growth, and that it was a cockamamie idea to assert it.

We’ve had two quarters in a row of 3 percent growth. If you look at the fourth quarter data, it’s suggesting — at the Atlanta Fed, they have GDPNow, which is about 3.2 as of yesterday. So it’s saying that we’re growing at 3 percent. If we take that momentum into next year and add a tax cut, then we’re quite confident that one should be able to expect sustained growth at that level or above.

With that, I think I have to hand it back to Sarah. Thank you so much for being so gracious with your questions.

MS. SANDERS: Thank you, Kevin. Major, he’s right, I haven’t spoken to the President about that. But I do appreciate that you know that the President will still be here in five years. So, I like that vote of confidence that you would know that we will be here to take that review, and we’ll be sure to raise that with him.

Let me go back here.

Q Thanks, Sarah. I have a non-Roy Moore question for you. Can you say definitively — I want to ask you about Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri. Can you say definitively, from this podium, that he has not been held hostage by the Saudis? And does the President plan to speak to Prime Minister Hariri at all?

MS. SANDERS: I’m not aware of any anticipated conversations. That’s something I’d have to check on and get back to you. And I don’t have any further comment beyond that at this point right now. And I would refer you to the State Department on specifics of that.

Cecilia.

Q Thanks, Sarah. If it’s fair to investigate Al Franken and the allegation made by his accuser, is it also fair to investigate this President and the allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by more than a dozen women?

MS. SANDERS: Look, I think that this was covered pretty extensively during the campaign. We addressed that then. The American people, I think, spoke very loud and clear when they elected this President.

Q But how is this different?

MS. SANDERS: I think in one case, specifically, Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing, and the President hasn’t. I think that’s a very clear distinction.

Major.

Q So I want to revisit something we discussed yesterday. You said, one of the ways that Alabama voters might be able to figure out if these allegations against Roy Moore are true is in the court of law. That’s a direct quote from you. There’s no criminal means by which that could happen. So are you suggesting that Roy Moore sue the accusers in order to hash this out in court?

MS. SANDERS: That would be something that I would refer to him to make that decision. That’s not something I would be able to advise on.

Q But that’s the venue you meant when you talked about “in the court of law.”

MS. SANDERS: I said that’s one option, one way to determine that process. But that would be a decision that he would have to make, certainly not one I’m going to make.

Q The only reason I raise that is because, during the campaign, as you well remember, then-candidate Trump said, after the election he would sue all the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, and that you have, from the podium, deemed all liars. He hasn’t done that. Why hasn’t he done that?

MS. SANDERS: I haven’t asked him that question. I’d have to ask him and let you know why he hasn’t chosen to take that path. I’m simply stating that’s an option that Roy Moore has on the table.

Jeff.

Q Sarah, some critics have said that it was hypocritical of the President to tweet about Al Franken and not weigh in on Roy Moore.

MS. SANDERS: He has weighed in on Roy Moore. He did it while he was on a foreign trip in Asia. I did it repeatedly yesterday. In fact, I took about 15 questions on that topic and only one on Al Franken. So to suggest that this White House and, specifically, that this President hasn’t weighed in is just inaccurate and wrong. He weighed in; he said, if the allegations are true, he should step aside. He also weighed in when he supported the RNC’s decision to withdraw resources from the state of Alabama. It’s just a simply inaccurate statement to make about the President.

Sara.

Q Can you tell us whether the President believes the women who are making these allegations against Roy Moore? And would he be willing to ask the Alabama governor to delay the election or take a step like that to try to intervene in this electoral process in Alabama?

MS. SANDERS: The President certainly finds the allegations extremely troubling. As I stated yesterday, he feels like it’s up to the governor and the state — the people in the state of Alabama to make a determination on whether or not they delay that election or whether or not they support and vote for Roy Moore.

Matthew.

Q Thank you, Sarah. In light of the national discussion about the importance of taking these kinds of accusations seriously, I wanted to check: Is it still the White House position that all the women who have accused the President of sexual misconduct are lying?

MS. SANDERS: The President has spoken about this multiple times throughout the campaign and has denied all of those allegations.

Blake.

Q Thanks, Sarah. Let me ask you about something else — the pending potential AT&T and Time Warner merger. The President had said on the campaign trail, back in October of 2016 — and I quote here — he said it was a “deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” Does the President still feel that way?

MS. SANDERS: The President was asked about this a few days ago, maybe a week ago, while we were on Air Force One, and I’d refer you back to those comments.

April.

Q Sarah, is this an uncomfortable conversation about these sexual allegations for this White House be it Al Franken or be it Roy Moore?

MS. SANDERS: I think it’s an uncomfortable conversation for the country. I think that this is something that is being discussed pretty widely, and we certainly think that it should be taken very seriously. And it’s one of the reasons I stand up here and answer your questions every day, and will continue to do so and continue to address them.

Obviously, it’s something that should be looked at, and I think it should be looked at widespread not just in the political sphere, but in the business atmosphere and across the board in this country. And it’s something we certainly again take seriously.

Q A follow-up.

MS. SANDERS: Alex. We’re tight on time today.

Q I talked to Hillary Clinton today about the President’s past — and going back to what Matthew said, she said, look, I worry about everything from his past because it tells you how he behaves in the present and will in the future. What do you say to that as it relates to these allegations against the President?

MS. SANDERS: I think Hillary Clinton probably should have dealt with some of those of her own issues before addressing this President.

Alex.

Q Two questions. One on taxes, then immigration. A recent Quinnipiac University poll said 61 percent of voters think the Republican tax plan will benefit the wealthy while the White House has pitched this plan as a working-class tax cut. Why the disconnect?

And then on immigration —

MS. SANDERS: Let me answer that first question.

Q Okay.

MS. SANDERS: Look, we’ve actually argued that this tax plan benefits all Americans. That’s the point of it. Specifically, our priority is to target middle-class Americans and make sure that that is addressed first and that those people are prioritized in any piece of legislation for either the House or the Senate.

But at the same time, we want all Americans to benefit by a growing economy and a tax system that actually works for our country versus one that penalizes people.

We’re going to keep moving just because we’re tight.

John.

Q Let me come back and ask you the same thing I asked Kevin. You’ve got six Republican senators either “no” or seriously on the fence here. Can you win enough over in order to pass this? And if the President gets snookered again by the Senate, what’s his reaction going to be?

MS. SANDERS: We certainly are still very confident that we’re going to get this package passed, and we’d love to see some of the Democrats come on board and support this historic piece of legislation that we feel will be one of the great legacies of this presidency.

Q The fact that you didn’t get any Democrats in the House, how does that portend for getting them in the Senate?

MS. SANDERS: There’s always hope. We’ll hold out hope that Democrats in the Senate want to put partisan politics aside and put the people of this country first. We haven’t ruled it, and we’re certainly going to keep pushing forward. And we’re still confident we’re going to get it done.

Q Safe to say the President will not be pleased if he gets snookered by the Senate again?

MS. SANDERS: I think the American people will be the ones that won’t be pleased, because they’re going to be the ones that lose out the most if this doesn’t go forward.

Toluse.

MS. SANDERS: Thanks, Sarah. The administration put out a disaster funding request for about $44 billion today. It’s much less than what a number of different governors and officials in the various affected territories and states have requested. Can you explain sort of why the number is so low compared to what the local officials say they need?

MS. SANDERS: I don’t think $44 billion is a low amount. And my guess is if you ask any average citizen across this country, they wouldn’t feel like it’s low either.

But to this point, Texas has not put any state dollars into this process. We feel strongly that they should step up and play a role and work with the federal government in this process. We did a thorough assessment, and that was completed, and this was the number that we put forward to Congress today.

Q Are you expecting (inaudible) much more requests forward in the future, specifically for Puerto Rico?

MS. SANDERS: Yeah, absolutely. At this point, the request that went in today of the roughly $44 billion primarily addresses Texas and Florida. Those storms took place ahead of Puerto Rico, and the assessment for Puerto Rico hasn’t been completed yet. Once that’s done, we fully anticipate that there will be additional requests at that time.

Kristen.

Q Sarah, thank you. Steven Bannon is sending a strong message to the establishment to back off of Roy Moore. Does the President’s allegiance to Steve Bannon in any way implicate his response?

MS. SANDERS: The President doesn’t have an allegiance to Steve Bannon. The President has an allegiance to the people of this country and nothing else.

Q Has he spoken at all to Steve Bannon or any outside advisors?

MS. SANDERS: Not that I’m aware of. Not that I’m aware of.

Q How concerned is he, Sarah, about losing this seat to a Democratic candidate, who, right now, according to the polls, is leading?

MS. SANDERS: Look, I think that the President is less concerned about the seat and more focused on the policy and the legislation that we’re pushing through right now, like tax reform.

John.

Q Thanks a lot, Sarah. Just in regards to that question regarding the supplemental requests: The President and the administration has put forth $44 million. Puerto Rico has requested $94 million. Are they going to get somewhere along that order? I think half of the island is still without electricity.

MS. SANDERS: As I said, we’re going to wait until that assessment is complete and we’ll make a determination at that point and see what the best path forward is.

Q Did the President notify Governor Abbott —

MS. SANDERS: Sorry, I’m going to keep it brief.

Q Did the President notify Governor Abbott of the lesser amount that he’s put forward?

MS. SANDERS: John, I’m going to keep moving. I’m going to try be respectful of your colleagues.

Q Yesterday, the joint investigative mechanism was vetoed by Russia at the U.N. Security Council, and Ambassador Haley tweeted afterward that the veto proves that Russia cannot be trusted as a partner going forward in trying to solve the political situation in Syria.

Does the President have any response to the veto, first? What is the U.S. view, going forward, of how chemical weapons will be investigated and dealt with in Syria? And is it the U.S. position now that Russia cannot be a partner in trying to solve, or do a next-day political situation by —

MS. SANDERS: I think by the actions that the President’s taken specific to chemical weapons, I think he’s shown his position on that with a strike in Syria earlier this year.

In terms of Russia’s veto, it’s certainly not one we support. We do hope that, moving forward, they want to get on board and work with us on this. But at the same time, this isn’t something that we support their decision on.

Steven.

Q There’s been some extraordinary pushback on the administration’s decisions with respect to elephant trophies and hunting of lions and elephants in Africa. Can you shed some light on the decisions the administration has made? And will you make that pushback?

MS. SANDERS: Yeah, this is actually due to a review that started back in 2014, under the previous administration, done by career officials at the Fish and Wildlife Service. This review established that both Zambia and Zimbabwe had met new standards, strict international conservation standards that allowed Americans to resume hunting in those countries.

A ban on importing elephant ivory from all country remains in place. But again, all of this was based on a study that was conducted — that started back to the previous administration and done by career officials.

Darlene.

Q The senate tax bill has a tax break for corporate jets. How does that help the middle class?

MS. SANDERS: As Kevin stated before, this administration has laid out the priorities that we want to see reflected in this legislation. We’re going to continue to fight for those priorities and let the legislative process work through.

In terms of those specific pieces, that’s something I would refer you to members of the House and senate on that. But our focus is on making sure these priorities are answered and met.

We’ll make this the last one.

Q Thank you, Sarah. Yesterday — on Jared Kushner and on his campaign e-mails — that Senate Committee, they’re asking for those e-mails in the Russia investigation. You punted it to the Kushner’s attorney. Today, what’s the White House reaction to those previously undisclosed e-mails?

MS. SANDERS: Look, as I said, they were going to put out a statement; they did. And I would refer you back to that on anything specific to that inquiry.

Thanks so much, guys. Hope you have a happy Friday and a good weekend. We’ll see you on Monday.

END

3:41 P.M. EST

Third Committee Approves 11 Draft Resolutions, as Tensions around Safe Drinking Water, Youth Policies Force Recorded Votes on Previously Agreed Language

Representative of Kyrgyzstan Decries Text as Imbalanced, Proposes Amendments

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) approved 11 draft resolutions today, ranging from the protection of human rights when countering terrorism, to safeguarding access to drinking water and sanitation, and creating youth-effective policies.

Most of the day’s drafts were approved without a vote, among them, one titled “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism”, by which the Assembly would urge States in such efforts to comply with their international law obligations on the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Clarifying her position, the United States delegate said that while she had joined consensus, her Government did not recognize any obligation under international human rights law to prevent terrorism or protect people from it.  On that point, the representative of the Russian Federation said the fight against terrorism must balance the interests of society with the protection of human rights, and be carried out in accordance with international obligations.

The Committee approved a draft resolution on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, by a recorded vote of 173 in favour, to 1 against (Kyrgyzstan), with 3 abstentions (New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey).  By its terms, the Assembly would reaffirm those rights, as components of the right to an adequate living standard, were essential for the full enjoyment of all human rights, especially that to life.

Its passage followed the Committee’s rejection of two oral amendments proposed by Kyrgyzstan’s delegate, who said suggestions made by her delegation had been excluded.  The text was not balanced.  The first amendment, to preambular paragraph 26, was technical in nature, she said, as the Russian version of the draft resolution was not in line with the English version.  It was defeated by a vote of 17 in favour, to 106 against, with 33 abstentions.

She said the second amendment, to operative paragraph 9, sought to bring clarity in accordance with international law.  It was rejected by a vote of 19 in favour, to 105 against, with 31 abstentions.

Spain’s delegate, a main sponsor of the draft resolution, defended the paragraphs in question, stressing that they contained agreed language and had been adopted by consensus in previous Assembly resolutions.

The omnibus draft resolution titled “International cooperation to address and counter the world drug problem” was approved without a vote.  By its terms, the Assembly would call on States to intensify efforts to address the drug problem based on the principle of common and shared responsibility, and through a comprehensive and balanced approach.

A draft resolution titled “Policies and programmes involving youth”, approved without a vote, would have the Assembly stress the need to strengthen the capacity of national statistical offices to collect age-disaggregated data in reporting on the youth dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  It would also urge States to address gender stereotypes that perpetuated discrimination and violence against girls and young women, notably by encouraging men and boys to take responsibility for their behaviour.

The Committee rejected an oral amendment to that text, proposed by Saint Lucia’s delegate, who said the language of the draft resolution must reflect that in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The amendment was defeated by a recorded vote of 45 in favour, to 99 against, with 20 abstentions.

Senegal’s delegate, in calling for the vote, said the Third Committee should decide whether information and services on sexual and reproductive health were important.

However, Estonia’s delegate, on behalf of the European Union, expressed regret before the vote that oral amendments had been introduced on paragraphs that had been extensively discussed.  The paragraphs in question reflected a strong middle ground on critical youth issues and he decried the lack of compromise.

Also today, the Committee approved drafts concerning: combating intolerance, freedom of religion, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the rights of minorities, the Subregional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa, albinism, and the International Year of the Family.

The Third Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Monday, 20 November, to continue its action on draft resolutions.

Action

Human rights questions, alternative approaches to their enjoyment

The representative of Egypt, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), introduced a draft resolution titled “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief” (document A/C.3/72/L.37).  The draft was a follow-up to the consensus resolution approved last year.  There had been a global resurgence of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, he said, and populist leaders built platforms on fomenting incitement to that.

The representative of Syria said his country was not a member of the OIC, and would therefore like to co‑sponsor the draft resolution in Syria’s national capacity.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

By its terms, the General Assembly would condemn any advocacy of religious hatred that constituted incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.  It would call on all States to foster a domestic environment of religious tolerance, peace and respect by, among other things, creating a mechanism within Governments to identify and address potential areas of tension among different religious communities, and assisting with conflict prevention and mediation.

The representative of Estonia, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the draft resolution was a call to States to respond to intolerance with full respect for international human rights law.  The bloc condemned violence based on religion or belief and any incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, she said, adding that it was equally attached to freedom of opinion or expression as it was linked to freedom of religion or belief and other freedoms.  Indeed, freedom of expression was a tool for combating religious discrimination, and any restrictions on it should meet the requirements set out in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  As the draft stated that intolerance could generate hatred and violence, he reiterated that religious hatred was a threat to fundamental freedoms, and that it was the primary responsibility of States to counter that intolerance.  On that basis, the European Union would join consensus.

The representative of the Russian Federation said she had joined consensus on the draft resolution, adding that combating intolerance on the basis of religion or conviction was important, as was developing intercultural dialogue between religions and confessions.

Next, the representative of Estonia, speaking on behalf of the European Union, introduced a draft resolution titled “Freedom of religion or belief” (document A/C.3/72/L.38).  She said the promotion and protection of the freedoms of religion and belief as a universal right were essential priorities of the Union’s policy.  Promoting understanding was of utmost importance to creating inclusive environments and she urged States to provide adequate legislative protections to those freedoms.  The draft stressed the importance of protecting such rights in the face of religious extremism around the world and not only accounted for the right to believe, but also to change one’s beliefs, and the rights to freedom of association and assembly.  The draft also expressed support for the Special Rapporteur on the matter who had noted increasing religious intolerance worldwide.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly would stress that everyone had the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief, and strongly condemn violations of that freedom, as well as all forms of intolerance, discrimination and violence based on religion or belief.  Restrictions on the freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief were permitted only if limits were prescribed by law; were necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others; or were non‑discriminatory and applied in a manner that did not vitiate the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief.  The Assembly would urge States to ensure that their constitutional and legislative systems provided adequate and effective guarantees of freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief to all without distinction.

The representative of Spain, also speaking on behalf of Germany, introduced a draft resolution titled “The human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation” (document A/C.3/72/L.39/Rev.1).  He noted that after substantial changes had been made to the resolution in recent years, the drafters had opted for a cautious approach to preserve consensus on the important issue of the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.  The draft resolution now addressed specific challenges, such as the impact of climate change.  Noting the coincidence that the resolution would be adopted a few days before World Toilet Day, he added that much remained to be done to ensure full access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

The representative of Kyrgyzstan said not all the proposals made by her country had been reflected in the text, and that the draft was still not balanced.  She then introduced two oral amendments, the first on preambular paragraph 26 which was technical in nature, saying the resolution in Russian was not in line with the English version.  The second proposed amendment to operative paragraph 9 was to bring clarity in accordance with international law.

The representative of Spain expressed disappointment over the two proposed amendments, saying the paragraphs in question contained agreed language and had been adopted by consensus in previous Assembly resolutions.  The proposed amendment on the preambular paragraph would delete a substantial part of it, he said, noting that transboundary water resources were an important issue for several delegations.  The second amendment sought to change language which had been agreed for several years.  The main sponsors of the draft resolution did not support the resolution for reasons of both substance and procedure, he said, calling for a vote on the amendments and urging all delegations to vote no.

The Secretary of the Committee informed the representative of Kyrgyzstan that a process known as “concordance” after adoption would align the legal meanings between the various official languages of the United Nations, asking the representative whether she was requesting one vote on both amendments or separate votes on the two amendments.

The representative of Kyrgyzstan confirmed that she was requesting two separate votes on the two proposed amendments.

The representative of Austria spoke in defence of preambular paragraph 26 on both procedural and substantive grounds, saying the facilitators had worked relentlessly to find consensus acceptable to all sides.  It was a finely tuned and balanced paragraph, and contained an important qualifier on international water course law.  Austria would vote no and urged all member States to do the same.

The Committee then rejected the proposed amendment on preambular paragraph 26 by a recorded vote of 17 in favour to 106 against, with 33 abstentions.

The representative of Panama thanked Spain and Germany for the draft resolution, saying it was alarming to consider the number of people without access to the right to water.  The language submitted in operative paragraph 11 was agreed language, and was based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  Panama would vote against the two amendments suggested.

The Committee then rejected the proposed amendment on operative paragraph 9 by a recorded vote of 19 in favour to 105 against, with 31 abstentions.

The representative of Spain in a general statement said the votes on the amendments should have been sufficient to make the point to Kyrgyzstan, noting that the draft had traditionally been adopted by consensus.  Spain urged all Member States to vote in favour of it.

The representative of Kyrgyzstan, in explanation of vote before the vote, reaffirmed her country’s intention to carry out the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation at the national level.  Human rights to water and sanitation could not be considered an obligation of one State to another, and should be limited to the national framework.  Today, her delegation was compelled to vote against the draft resolution.

The representative of South Africa, in explanation of vote before the vote, said her delegation had participated actively in negotiations, and expressed concern that the resolution delinked from the right to development.  She noted the absence of the notion of justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights from the text.  The resolution had been watered down, she said, and South Africa would therefore abstain in the vote.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution as a whole by a recorded vote of 173 in favour, to 1 against (Kyrgyzstan), with 3 abstentions (New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey).

By its terms, the Assembly would reaffirm that the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, as components of the right to an adequate living standard, were essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life and all human rights.  Among other things, it would call on States to identify patterns of failure to respect, protect or fulfil the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation for all persons without discrimination, and address their structural causes in policymaking and budgeting within a broader framework.

The representative of Argentina, in explanation of vote after the vote, said his country supported the progressive development of international human rights law.  The importance of having safe drinking water and sanitation had been recognized in various documents, and providing those resources was a State responsibility.  Argentina had voted in favour, despite its position that it was a right each State must ensure to subjects under their jurisdiction, and not to other States.

The representative of the United States said her country was committed to addressing global challenges and had made access to safe drinking water a priority.  The United States had voted yes on the understanding the draft resolution did not imply that States must implement obligations from instruments to they were not party.  Water resources management was distinct from international human rights law, and the draft did not create international legal obligations.  While agreeing safe water and sanitation were critically important, she noted that, although climate models projected changes in natural disasters, there was no consensus in the scientific community.  The United States dissociated from operative paragraph 2 due to the language on which it was based.

The representative of Japan said he voted in favour of the draft as his country placed high priority on water and sanitation.  Still, Japan remained cautious in considering the rights as inalienable.

The representative of Mexico introduced a draft resolution titled “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism” (document A/C.3/72/L.44/Rev.1), saying drafts should be “living” texts that were regularly updated.  Mexico had submitted a text focused on the most relevant issues, with emphasis placed on protecting the rights of minority groups and strengthening the role of civil society.  At the same time, a condemnation of the recruitment of children in acts of terror had been included, he said, urging States to protect girls and boys in accordance with international obligations.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly would urge States while countering terrorism to fully comply with their international law obligations on the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  It would urge all States that had not yet done so to sign, ratify, accede to or implement the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.  Further, it would encourage United Nations bodies and international, regional and subregional groups to step up efforts to ensure respect for international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, as well as the rule of law.

The representative of the United States said she did not recognize any obligation under international human rights law to prevent terrorism or protect persons from terrorism.  A report called for in the draft was not an effective use of resources.

The representative of the Russian Federation said she had joined consensus, as the issue was among the most complicated items under the agenda item.  States should recognize terrorism was designed to destroy human rights and could not be justified by any means.  Combating terrorism must retain a balance between the interests of society and protection of human rights, she said.  Counter‑terror cooperation should only be carried out with legitimate States, she stressed, noting that national legislation must accord with international obligations.

Next, the Committee heard from the representative of France who introduced a draft resolution titled “International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance” (document A/C.3/72/L.47), which she said hailed the work of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and welcomed cooperation among relevant bodies.  Its major new feature was to highlight campaigns to increase the number of ratifications of the Convention.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly would express deep concern over the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various world regions, including arrest, detention and abduction, and by the growing number of reports concerning harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared.  It would request the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to increase efforts to assist States in becoming parties to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

The representative of Japan welcomed the draft’s approval, referring to enforced disappearances as a grave matter.  He demanded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to release Japanese abductees and encouraged States to ratify the Convention.

The representative of Austria introduced a draft resolution titled “Effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities” (document A/C.3/72/L.51/Rev.1*).  She said that, 25 years since the Declaration had been adopted, it remained highly relevant and a key reference for United Nations work.  Based on ongoing consultations, she expressed confidence the Assembly would adopt the draft by consensus.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly would among other measures call on States to ensure the protection of children belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities who were at risk of, or had experienced violence, and to give special attention to the specific needs of older persons and persons with disabilities belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.  It would further call on States to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur on minority issues.

The representative of Cameroon, on behalf of the co‑sponsors and 11 countries belonging to the relevant regional group, introduced a draft resolution titled “Subregional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa” (document A/C.3/72/L.55).  Created in 2001, the centre was mandated to train staff in activities involving human rights and democracy.  The draft sought to enable the centre to report on such activities with continued Assembly support.  Updates had been included, she said, adding that the centre was an important actor in the field.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner, taking note of the organizational change initiative in the Office of the High Commissioner, to continue to provide additional funds and human resources within the existing Office resources to enable the centre to respond positively to growing needs in the promotion and protection of human rights, and in developing a culture of democracy and the rule of law in the subregion.

The Secretary then invited delegations to make rights of reply under agenda item 72.

Right of reply

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in response to comments by his counterpart from Japan during the approval of draft resolution “L.47”, condemned Japan’s politicization of the issue.  His country had fulfilled its commitment to solve the abduction issue, he said, adding that Japan was the world’s worst human rights violator and a criminal State.  Japan was the only country evading recognition for its past crimes.

The representative of Japan said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had made promises in the Stockholm agreement and should implement that accord.  Japan had served as a non‑permanent member of the Security Council 11 times, he noted, and made a positive contribution to international peace and security.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said his country had done more than enough to solve the abduction issue, but Japan was using it for its own interests.  Its contribution amounted to “nothing” compared to its past crimes.

The representative of Japan said the remarks of the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were not based on facts.

International drug control

The representative of Mexico introduced the omnibus draft resolution titled “International cooperation to address and counter the world drug problem” (document A/C.3/72/L.8/Rev.1), which was a follow-up to the 2016 United Nations Special Session of the General Assembly, and encouraged States to participate in the preparatory debates with a view to exchanging information and best practices.  The draft strengthened a gender perspective, which must exist in programmes related to the world drug problem, he said, noting the importance of strengthening existing data collection and analysis tools.  It was in the context of the General Assembly that the international community could give priority to strategies agreed during the Special Session.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly would call on States to engage in effective cooperation and practical action to address the world drug problem on the basis of the principle of common and shared responsibility.  It also would urge States to address the socioeconomic factors related to the world drug problem through a comprehensive, integrated and balanced approach, and to increase the availability, coverage and quality of scientific evidence-based prevention measures and tools targeting relevant age and risk groups in multiple settings.

The Chair then proposed to the Committee that it would, in accordance with General Assembly decision 55/488 of document A/72/255, take note of the “Report of the Secretary-General on international cooperation against the world drug problem.”

The Committee then took note of the Secretary-General’s report on international cooperation against the world drug problem.

Social development

The representative of Malawi introduced a draft resolution titled, “Persons with albinism” (document A/C.3/72/L.10/Rev.1), which sought to address social development challenges faced by persons with albinism and was the outcome of intense negotiations.  It took into account existing international mechanisms on the matter.  He urged States to address the causes of attacks against persons with albinism, stressing that the draft encouraged States to end impunity for such violence and called for speedy and effective investigations into them.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly would express concern that persons with albinism were disproportionately affected by poverty, and that women and girls, in particular, were targets of witchcraft-related attacks.  The Assembly would call on States to address the causes of discrimination against persons with albinism by introducing awareness campaigns, and to ensure that measures to promote access to education, health care and employment for persons with albinism were carried out.

The representative of the United States said she had joined consensus and noted that the text did not imply that States become party to instruments to which they were not already party.  International instruments were relevant to addressing stigmas and violence, and such discussions could be greatly informed by considering the causes of discrimination.

The representative of Ecuador, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, introduced a draft resolution titled, “Follow-up to the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family and beyond” (document A/C.3/72/L.14/Rev.1).  Presenting an oral revision to operative paragraph 6 and reaffirming commitments to improve the well-being of all, he said the draft’s approval would allow for focus on integrated family development programmes.

The representative of Mexico said he would join consensus but expressed disappointment as the draft made no reference to different types of families and “alternative families”.

The representative of Estonia, on behalf of the European Union, attached great importance to family-related issues.  Recognizing the crucial role of parents and caregivers, he said families made valuable contributions to strengthening society.  Emphasizing States’ legal obligations to protect individual family members, he said families continued to change in line with economic and social development.  He expressed regret that the Union’s suggestions had not been reflected in the draft, noting that it understood all references to “family” in the draft to reflect an inclusive interpretation of the term.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution as orally revised without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly would invite States to invest in family-oriented policies and request the Secretary-General to submit a report at its seventy‑fourth session, through the Commission for Social Development and the Economic and Social Council.

The representative of Portugal, speaking on behalf of the main sponsors and Moldova and Senegal, introduced a draft resolution titled, “Policies and programmes involving youth” (document A/C.3/72/L.15/Rev.1*), noting that youth issues affected all Member States irrespective of their social or geographical situations.  One important element in the text was to stress that all priority areas were mutually reinforcing, she said, adding that the draft acknowledged the contribution of youth representatives to international fora.  Only a constructive approach from all delegations would advance the resolution to the benefit of world youth, she said, underscoring the collective efforts made to achieve a balanced text.

The representative of Saint Lucia said national policies were developed to support young people so they might excel in society.  She proposed an amendment to operative paragraph 10, noting that her country was a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and specified that the amendment was made in Saint Lucia’s national capacity.  The language in the text must reflect that in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The representative of Senegal, speaking also on behalf of Moldova and Portugal, the other main co‑facilitators and co‑sponsors, said the open and inclusive process represented a positive common denominator on a subject that was important to all.  It could be demanding to find common ground on a transversal issue such as youth, he noted, recalling that operative paragraph 10 was based on language agreed at the highest level and endorsed in various consensual Assembly resolutions.  The Third Committee should decide whether information and services on sexual and reproductive health were important, he said, calling for a vote on the amendment.

The representative of Estonia, on behalf of the European Union, in an explanation of vote before the vote, expressed regret that oral amendments had been introduced on paragraphs that had been discussed extensively.  The paragraphs in question reflected a strong middle ground on critical issues related to youth.  He expressed regret over the lack of a spirit of compromise and would vote against the amendments, inviting others to do the same.

The representative of Canada, also on behalf of Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, said the amendment aimed to weaken language on gender equality that had been agreed during other resolutions.  The paragraph contained carefully developed compromise language, he said, and the tabled version referred to education in full partnership with parents and guardians.  The proposed amendment upset the carefully balanced compromise, and his group would vote against it.

The Committee then rejected the proposed oral amendment by a recorded vote of 45 in favour to 99 against, with 20 abstentions.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution as a whole without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly would stress the need to strengthen the capacity of national statistical offices to collect and analyse age-disaggregated data in reporting on the youth dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  It would urge States to address gender stereotypes that perpetuated discrimination and violence against girls and young women, notably by encouraging men and boys to take responsibility for their behavior.

The representative of Saint Lucia said in explanation of position that the Convention on the Rights of the Child spoke to the responsibilities of parents.  The formulation as reflected in the current operative paragraph relegated the role of parents and legal guardians to a partnership.  Parents and the family played an important role in guiding children.  As that was not the case in the current paragraph, Saint Lucia disassociated from consensus on operative paragraph 10.

The representative of Sudan reiterated her disassociation from paragraphs in which there was no consensus, notably references to sexual and reproductive health.

The representative of the United States disassociated from operative paragraph 8 as the language therein would have no bearing on future negotiations.  Language on foreign occupation also politicized the draft, which also failed to account for the essential role of youth in countering violent extremism.  She expressed commitment to equal access to education at all levels and urged States to comply with applicable international obligations, adding that educational matters in the United States were largely determined at the state and local levels.

The representative of the Holy See expressed full support for all programmes that promoted the best interests of youth.  Welcoming the general intentions of the draft, he expressed concern over the lack of consensus around the promotion and protection of youth migrants.  Language in operative paragraph 10 had been taken out of context and would remain a contentious matter.  Sexual reproductive health and services applied to a holistic concept of care and his delegation did not consider abortion a part of those terms.  He reiterated the responsibility of parents in the education and upbringing of their children.

The representative of Israel said that despite engagement on the text, politicized language remained in place, and he urged facilitators to remove such language in the future.

The representative of Saudi Arabia, speaking on behalf of Egypt, Yemen, Iraq and Libya, called youth “the cornerstone of the future” and said they should participate in policymaking.  He had joined consensus on the draft but disassociated from operative paragraph 10, as it did not make a good reference to the role of parents in education.  The paragraph would be implemented in line with national policies.

The representative of Mauritania said he had voted in favour of Saint Lucia’s amendment as the role of parents in education must be a matter of consensus.  He disassociated from operative paragraph 10, as it presented “inconvenient language”, and further disassociated from non‑consensual practices in the draft.

Unusual coastal earthquake near Pohang, South Korea – November 15, 2017

Update 06:28 UTC: The white bullets on the map below show the previous earthquakes in the region since 1900. Last years earthquake below Gyeonju was about the same strength than today’s one M5.3 vs M5.4 today.

Update 06:25 UTC: The earthquake was felt all over South Korea and probably also in the southern parts of North Korea.

Update 06:18 UTC: Based on the present earthquake parameters (Magnitude, Depth, Population, etc) and our experience with earthquake damage impact, earthquake-report.com does expect at least some slight damage like cracks in walls, fallen tiles, etc.

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 07.20.05

Heung-hai, South Korea, 9.2 km (5.7 mi) SWPopulation: 36,080
Pohang, South Korea, 9.3 km (5.8 mi) WNWPopulation: 500,000
Enjitsu, South Korea, 10.4 km (6.4 mi) NWPopulation: 40,852
Kyonju, South Korea, 25.1 km (15.6 mi) NNEPopulation: 155,237
Ulsan, South Korea, 58.7 km (36.4 mi) NPopulation: 962,865

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.5

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2017-11-15 14:29:37

GMT/UTC Time : 2017-11-15 05:29:37

Depth (Hypocenter) : 10 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Donation - long - San Francisco

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the “I Felt It” button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Hoko, South Korea Nov 15 07:49 4.7 10 MAPI Felt It
  • Daejeon – We were in the classroom. All things suddenly shaking for 7-8 sec strongly we decide to going out and professor stop the class. We wereso scared.
  • Pohang – Handong University is situated nearby Heunghae which is a township to the north of Pohang. We were sitting at our desks when the main tremor hit at 14:40 causing violent shaking of our building, filling cabinets to fall over, pictures and books and in some cases, book cases to topple. Only after the motion stopped did we feel able to move outside our building which sustained significant cracks in walls at one end.
  • Songtan – I was upstairs in my bedroom when I felt my bed move beneath me. Songtan
  • Pohang – Magnitude 5.4, a strong tremor lasting for ca. 5 seconds, followed by a couple of aftershocks (2.0-4.6) within the next 48 hours. Some older houses totally destroyed, cracks in new constructions, including high-rise buildings. At our apartment (7th flood) cracked tiles in a bathroom, many objects have fallen out on the floor. No casualties, 60+ injured, 1500 homeless.
  • GEOFON South Korea Nov 15 07:49 4.8 10 MAPI Felt It
  • Geoje Island – Light shaking
  • EMSC South Korea Nov 15 07:49 4.7 10 MAPI Felt ItINFO
  • Changwon – Moderate shaking
  • Daegu – Weak shaking
  • Wonju – About 2 seconds of light shaking, just like a shock wave passing by.
  • Daejeon – I was studying with my friends in classroom, and we felt the earthquake so we hid under the desk
  • Daegu – It started out as a small vibration and grew in a 6-8 span. I hid under my desk like my team did
  • Daegu – I was on the 10th floor of my building and the building was shaking for 45 seconds. Some of my personal items were shaking as well
  • Gijang, Busan – It was slightly shaking.
  • Daegu – Felt shaking for about 20 seconds.
  • Busan – Rattled windows, shook lamps, almost knocked a computer off the desk. Very loud!
  • Sejong City – I was leaning on a table when it happened.
    There were two tables pushed together and they started banging into each other. I knew immediately that it was an earthquake without a doubt. That shaking lasted about 8 to 10 seconds. My husband, who wasn\’t leaning on the table, was standing about 3 feet away from me, and he had no idea about the quake. I had to tell him it was. He thought it was me shaking the tables. It was quite weak in our area but still \”feelable\”.
  • Wonju – It lasted for about 2-3 secondswith very light shaking. I was on the 3rd floor of my dormitory and I felt my bed shaking and there was a little bit of rattling from objects on our desks.
  • EMSC South Korea Nov 15 06:09 3.5 10 MAPI Felt ItINFO
  • Daejeon – I was seating on my sofa and felt vibrations. For a moment I thought my phone was ringing as is in vibration mode.
  • Sejong City – I was on the 3rd floor of a school. My chair was shaking and I could hear the windows rattling. It lasted for about 10 seconds.
  • Jeongeup – Maybe 5-10 seconds.. Felt it from the 4th floor in my school
  • Daegu – On the 17th floor of high rise apartment and the building vibrated, and increased in intensity to shaking. Lasted longer than most of the other quakes I have felt.
  • Pyeongtaek – Moderate shaking
  • Cheongsong-gun – Moderate shaking of about a minute at past 2 pm. Light shaking less than 1 minute at around 4:55 pm Korean Time.
  • EMSC South Korea Nov 15 05:32 3.6 10 MAPI Felt It
  • Icheon-si – Moderate shaking
  • Ulsan – Walls, windows, floor, even the doors were shaking. Loud vibrations that lasted more than 6 or 7 seconds. On the fourth floor and it was slightly intense.
  • Daejeon – Wife reports that all dishes clinking. Lasted 15-20 seconds. Moderate strength. People ran outside from high-rises.
  • Chungju – The Buildings were a bit shaking. No damage to any property. Lasted for 3 seconds
  • Daegu – I was on the 2nd floor of a building and felt the floor rumbling and saw the ceiling shaking. Also felt a small after shock a few minutes later while sitting at a desk.
  • Jinhae – On the third floor of my school. Felt light shaking for about 5-10 seconds. The alarm was sent to everyone\’s phones before we felt the earthquake.
  • Seoul – Was woken up by the shaking…it must have lasted about 10 seconds after that. I was a bit disoriented but could clearly tell we were having an earthquake
  • Gwangju – Light shaking
  • ulsan – Light shaking
  • Daegu – I was in the 4th story of a school. I felt shaking for about 15-20 seconds. Nothing fell over but the windows really shook a lot.
  • Chuncheon – 3 seconds. My underwear had been damaged as a shat myself!
  • Seoul – It lasted about 20 second. But slight shaking was felt 5 mins after it
  • GEOFON South Korea Nov 15 05:29 5.5 10 MAPI Felt ItINFO
  • Seoul – It was like for 10 secs
  • Pyongtaek – Approximately 15 seconds. No known damage.
  • Cheonan – Light shaking
  • Pyeongtaek – Around 5 seconds. They say it was only 2.6 in the area where I live.
  • Busan – Light shaking
  • Seoul – The walls and furniture shook and lasted about 5 seconds
  • Seoul – Light shaking
  • Anjeong-ri – Alert came over the phone in Korean. While trying to figure the message out I was leaning against the table and notice it shaking.
  • Daegu – No damage but almost 30-40 second shaking
  • Osan AFB – I was laying in my bed and the I felt shaking. It stopped before I could get under my doorframe though.
  • Daejeon – Moderate shaking
  • Pyeongtaek – Very weak shaking
  • Busan – It took about 5-8seconds. I was at flat – live on 4th (highest) floor and shaking was well noticeable. My tableware tinkled.
  • Busan – Moderate shaking
  • Pyeongtaek – On the 7th floor enough to move water in a glass.
  • yangsan – Light shaking
  • Cheonan – Light shaking
  • Daegu – None of my property was damaged. The shaking lasted for about 7-8 seconds. My whole apartment shook. The alarm system on my phone started about half way through the earthquake.
  • JinHae – Jinhae – 10 seconds – moderate shaking – waterbed like shake / no jolts
  • Daejeon – One initial shake and after 3 seconds more shakings
  • Peongtak – Weak shaking
  • seongnam – It was like a sequence of light vibrations, specifically 4 light shakes. I was in Class when It happened. No damage was recorded
  • Busan – Very weak shaking
  • Daegu – Shaking, rumbling for about 4-7 seconds. Whoever reported the long shaking was most likely drunk…… Carl Turnbow / RCC-K
  • Pyeongtaek – About 30 seconds of shaking, things in the house visibly moving but no movement or damage.
  • Pohang – Strong bucking sensation, hard to stand up. Objects shaken off shelves. Initially strong then abated slowly. Seemed to last about a minute.
  • Jinju – The room started moving and shaking. Windows rattled but nothing fell over and no doors slammed. Bit like being in a boat hit by a wave.
  • Suncheon – I was in my office and felt moderate shaking for about 10-15 seconds. Felt like shaking/ not rolling.
  • Gimcheon – 5-10 seconds. Was surprised
  • Busan – Definitely spooked me. Dishes rattled, lights shook back and forth. My windows rattled loudly. I live on the 10th floor. Felt it lasted for more than 5 seconds. I felt aftershocks thereafter,but they were not as loud and long.
  • Seoul – Lasted 10 seconds, felt the ofice floor \’ripple\’ under the chair
  • USGS Hoko, South Korea Nov 15 05:29 5.4 10 MAPI Felt It
  • Daegu – felt little shaking, nothing major
  • Pohang – That was kind of scary. like 45 seconds of shaking
  • Chilgok-gun – No damage, light shaking 3-4 seconds then a pause, followed by moderate shaking for 5-6 seconds.
  • daegu – Iam on the 4th floor of building ,felt the shake moderately , the chair and tables were shaking and lasted for more than 30 seconds

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    SHARE YOUR EARTHQUAKE EXPERIENCE WITH US

    I felt the shaking *
    Country where you felt the earthquake *
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake *
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Shaking Strength *
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?

    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?

    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?

    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?

    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?

    People
    Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or “easy glide” drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?

    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?

    People
    Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected.

    Structures :
    Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down.

    Environment :
    Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.

    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?

    Structures
    Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames.

    Environment :
    Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.

    Tell us your experience and how many seconds the shaking lasted + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage). (max. 500 characters)

    * mandatory fields

    Photos of the Foreign Trip

    WASHINGTON, D.C.

    President Donald J. Trump, joined by First Lady Melania Trump, stops to speak with the White House Press Corps, Friday, November 3, 2017, prior to their departure from the South Lawn at the White House to begin their trip to Asia.

    (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

    HAWAII

    President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump receive traditional Hawaiian leis upon their arrival to Joint Base Hickam AFB, Friday, November 3, 2017, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump receives a U.S. Pacific Command briefing at the United State Pacific Command Headquarters, Friday, November 3, 2017, in Aiea, Hawaii.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump share a moment on the barge tour after departing the USS Arizona Memorial, Friday, November 3, 2017, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    JAPAN

    President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are welcomed by hundreds of U.S. troops after arriving at the Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, Japan, Sunday, November 5, 2017, the start of President Trump’s five-nation trip to Asia.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participate in an event with troops at Yokota Air Base, Sunday, November 5, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    First Lady Melania Trump has tea with Mrs. Akie Abe, wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at the Mikimoto store Sunday, November 5, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    First Lady Melania Trump and Mrs. Akie Abe, wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visit the Mikimoto flagship store, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Tokyo, where they were given a tour and shown the traditional style of Ama divers, women who dive for the pearl oysters, in a Japanese tradition that is more than a thousand years old.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have dinner with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Mrs. Akie Abe at Ginza Ukai Tei, Sunday, November 5, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks to U.S. and Japanese business leaders at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, Monday, November 6, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attends.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump meet with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, Monday, November 6, 2017, on their arrival to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan.

    (Official White House Photo by Stephanie Chasez)

    President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump along with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Mrs. Akie Abe participate in an honor guard ceremony at the Akasaka Palace, Monday, November 6, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump has lunch with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Akasaka Palace, Monday, November 6, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe along with First Lady Melania Trump and Mrs. Akie Abe meet with family members of abducted Japanese citizens in North Korea, Monday, November 6, 2017, at the Akasaka Palace, in Tokyo, Japan.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe participate in a joint press conference at the Akasaka Palace, Monday, November 6, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan. First Lady Melania Trump attends.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    First Lady Melania Trump and Mrs. Akie Abe, wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visit Kyobashi Tsukiji Elementary School, Monday, November 6, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are greeted at their departure, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, by U.S. Ambassador William F. Hagerty and U.S. military personnel at Yokota Air Base on the outskirts of Tokyo, as they leave for their flight to Seoul, Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    REPUBLIC OF KOREA

    President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump disembark Air Force One at Osan Air Base, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, and are greeted by Charge d’Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Translator, Mrs. Suzuko Knapper, Commander of the United States Forces Korea, Gen. Vincent Brooks, 1st Vice Foreign Minister, Lim Sung-Nam, Commander 51st Fighter Wing and Col. Andrew Hansen, in Pyeongtaek, Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump has lunch with U.S and South Korean troop at Camp Humphreys Provider Dining Facility, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, in the Republic of Korea. President Moon Jae-in attends.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump poses for a photo with General Vincent Brooks, ROKA General Kim Byeoung-Joo (T), Lt Gen Thomas Bergeson, LTG Thomas Vandal, MajGen James Lukeman, RDML Brad Cooper, and Brig Gen Tony Bauernfeind at the 8th Army HQ Building, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, after receiving an Operational Briefing, in the Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    First Lady Melania Trump boards Executive Foxtrot 1 and departs Osan Air Base, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, en route to Yongsan Garrison Camp in the Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    First Lady Melania Trump meets with middle school students following her address, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at the “Girls Play 2” initiative launch at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, President Moon Jae-in and First Lady Kim Jung-sook, at a welcoming ceremony, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at the presidential residence, Blue House, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    President Donald J. Trump participates in a one-on-one meeting with President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump participates in an expanded bilateral meeting at the Blue House, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    First Lady Melania Trump, joined by First Lady Kim Jung-sook, presents gifts to children, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, in the garden of the presidential residence, Blue House, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    First Lady Melania Trump has tea with Mrs. Kim Jung-sook, wife of President Moon Jae-in, at the Blue House, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

    President Donald J. Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, President Moon Jae-in, and his wife Mrs. Kim Jung-sook pose for photos in front of the Sangchunjae after having tea, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    President Donald J. Trump addresses the South Korean National Assembly, November 8, 2017.

    (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)