FILE - In this March 27, 2018 file photo, A man watches a TV screen showing file footages of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. Increased activity at a North Korean nuclear site has once again caught the attention of analysts and renewed concerns about the complexities of denuclearization talks as President Donald Trump prepares for a summit with Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

Trump’s early morning tweets: gun laws and North Korea

Trump says Second Amendment won’t be repealed and there is a good chance North Korean leader will do ‘what is right’

President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that the Second Amendment “WILL NEVER BE REPEALED” and called on voters to elect more Republicans in this fall’s congressional elections because the GOP “must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court.”

Trump’s statements came a day after retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in an essay in The New York Times that repealing the amendment would make it easier for Congress to enact gun control legislation.

Last month’s shootings that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, have galvanized young people, liberals and Democrats for a renewed push to curb firearms. That has included demonstrations that have drawn hundreds of thousands of marchers in cities across the country.

“THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!” Trump tweeted early Wednesday. “As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY. We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court!”

There is no current, major push to repeal the Second Amendment and any effort to do so would be unlikely to succeed in today’s divisive political climate. Under the most common way to amend the Constitution, the House and Senate would both need to approve the proposal by two-thirds majorities. It would then need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

Related: Trump refuses to address gun control following deadly Florida shooting

Political parties do not technically “hold” the Supreme Court like they control Congress.

Justices are nominated by presidents and must be confirmed by the Senate. It is true justices often reflect the political views of presidents who select them, but that is not always the case.

Of the current nine justices, the four considered to comprise the court’s conservative wing were appointed by GOP presidents and the four more liberal judges were selected by Democratic presidents. The ninth, often considered the crucial swing vote, is Anthony Kennedy, who was nominated by Republican President Ronald Reagan.

Trump would have an easier time filling the next Supreme Court vacancy if Republicans can expand their current 51-49 Senate majority in November’s elections.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment lets people own guns for self-defence.

——

President Donald Trump also said Wednesday there’s “a good chance” that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will “do what is right for his people and for humanity” and make moves toward peace.

In a pair of morning tweets, Trump says he received a message from Chinese President Xi Jinping that a meeting Xi had with Kim this week “went very well.”

Trump says that according to Xi, the North Korean leader “looks forward” to meeting the American president. The White House has said Trump plans to meet Kim by May amid nuclear tensions between the two nations.

Related: Trump says he’ll meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un

Trump has agreed to historic talks after South Korean officials relayed that Kim was committed to ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons and was willing to halt nuclear and missile tests.

In the meanwhile, Trump says, “unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!” The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on companies across the globe to punish illicit trade with North Korea.

“For years and through many administrations, everyone said that peace and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was not even a small possibility,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right for his people and for humanity. Look forward to our meeting!”

Alan Fram, The Associated Press

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