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tv   Doc Film - Monuments Men of Timbuktu  Deutsche Welle  April 29, 2018 9:15pm-10:00pm CEST

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that is deja vu dot com i'm not our own expert joining us and see you again next time. on. the d.w.m. media center. seat margin. find. him more of a. discovery. video and audio podcast and language courses. in the d w media center at media center dot w dot com.
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for europeans timbuktu was long a mysterious place in the middle of nowhere. today it is the scene of a battle to save an endangered cultural heritage the history of this ancient trading center the gateway to the desert is still in evidence here. at the same time the city also seeks to maintain its connection to the modern world in its heyday back in the fifteenth and sixteenth century timbuktu was one of the intellectual centers of the arab african world precious collections of manuscripts contained all the knowledge of the time that knowledge still lives on in numerous family libraries. are as these treasures were threatened when in april twenty twelve just how does the militia occupied northern mali and timbuktu.
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subjecting people there to tyranny. and destroying their sacred mausoleums the historic documents were in immediate danger. a unique rescue mission to save the manuscript speak and. am. up till cutter haidara is one of the men behind the rescue mission thanks to him the cultural heritage did not fall prey to the islamist extremists. his family's library is now in safe keeping in bamako the capital of mali. its collection of manuscripts is among timbuktu's largest and oldest. updo cutter haidara is error and guardian to these treasures. the
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library is an important collection of scientific philosophical and theological manuscripts as well as literary texts written in arabic and african languages. the collections contain texts on issues of science and religion but also on everyday life love poems unique chronicles of west africa's kingdoms descriptions of ice surgery in the fourteenth century and discussions of the koran about the coexistence of muslims and christians that are still meaningful today haidar often refers to the old texts many of them are still surprisingly relevant. when we talk about good governance. you also have to create the necessary conditions for it. you have to do everything to find the right way to want such
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governance. do not forget the workers do not forget the women do not forget the children. all of society must be well governed. another manuscript describes how foreigners should be treated it cites the story of hind they spot a german expert on africa who came to timbuktu in eight hundred fifty three disguised as an arab he was arrested as a spy and like some other european explorers before him was to be executed but shaikh. timbuctoo spiritual leader issued an islamic legal ruling that placed pollard under his protection. so not that is our guest foreigners. he did not come here with the intention to kill us not to wage war on. well no we do not have the
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right to kill him we do not have the right to seize his belongings since he is a citizen like everybody else. the qur'an clearly states that no harm must come to him and not is of great significance. this is an example of islamic tolerance. then this. but tolerance fell on hard times in timbuktu. in april twenty twelve islamist on saturday in militia invaded timbuktu and occupied the entire north of mali. in the name of islam they forced their dictatorial regime upon the population while seeing themselves as liberators. no not the limits
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in our pacific you said they were our path is peaceful our goal is religion so we don't need to conquer anything. islam condemns while jihad aims at the extinction expulsion of those who oppose the spread of islam. it is not our goal to kill people or cause bloodshed it. jihad aims at cleansing the country of those who defy shari'a and oppose the spread of islam. to secure so it was a love of the flesh area well up of the families. they came from the desert and islamist militia some of them with links to al qaida in the islamic magreb they had taken advantage of a military coup in mali's capital bamako and conquered the north of mali together with a separatist war rag later they drove away their trial right fighters and established their sole rule. the occupying militia was heavily armed and devout true faith as they understood it came from the barrels of guns. for ten months
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the islamist dominated every day life. some of the young fighters were former neighbors who had recently joined the militia. they enjoyed their feeling of importance and were well paid. every day life was organized strictly according to extremely rigid rules. the behavior of women was a special form in their side. that when the islamists were here we didn't look at them we lowered our heads. we had to wear gloves they wouldn't take the product out of our hands we put them down they took them and gave us the money. we didn't look up again until they were gone no no part of our face was to be visible except our eyes they told us to look down and not approach anybody we weren't allowed to deal directly with them or barter products
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we just sat there with their eyes open they hit us and accused us of ill doings. playing soccer was outlawed as were secular music mobile phone ring tones dancing smoking and alcohol the headscarf was mandatory for women and no uncovered skin was to be seen any violations were punished severely but the holy warriors had a hard time convincing the people of timbuktu. oh you come here claiming to be muslims because you have weapons you claim to be our leaders. instead you should assemble our muslims first and explain your knowledge of islam to them. if muslims say we don't agree with that you know when you must bring forward your proof from the koran or the hoodie but if you point your weapons at muslims they will be afraid one day a muslim follows god's commandments for the sole reason that his heart is with god but if he's afraid of armed or his heart is unable to reach god anymore. you
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know i mean people can be afraid of weapons and still reach god. on there was a little more vocal issues they forced a lot of things on us. we didn't respect that. was the first thing that they wanted to force on ours was their method of education. we wanted our children to continue going to school. they said that boys and girls had to be taught in separate classes. in class we explained to them that that was not possible. we did not have enough classrooms or another teacher with. their class before in the end we had to accept boys and girls sitting in separate road blocks of course.
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when the girls. and certain classes like philosophy or the history of mali. is not allowed to be taught anymore this is the. by now school lessons in temple actually have returned to normal. co-education of girls and boys was against the holy warriors morals to them all western education was haraam or forbidden especially for girls because it supposedly spoiled their character. during the occupation the girls of my generation felt suffocated. they weren't allowed to dress or go out the way they wanted. we were separated from our friends because many of them fled south we missed them and. we weren't able to study because our school was closed for almost an entire
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year we couldn't go to school so we were lagging behind in our studies compared to them and that made us embarrassed i also felt. like. sure he is very distressing no law demands things like chopping off someone's hand for stealing or things like that. in. part because the girls didn't wear headscarves until the arrival of the mujahedeen they said they didn't know that islamic women wear a veil they look at the europeans for guidance they watch their movies they are manipulated by western media you maybe press people but you know that the media are manipulative t.v. radio all they ever talk about is the western world that is why our daughters our wives and children want to live
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a western lifestyle. or model of how maha used to attend secondary school in timbuktu himself together with girls by occupying timbuktu he and his followers wanted to stop the advance of western lifestyle as they put it. will have a heart seen here with his followers during the occupation and twenty twelve had a hard time winning over timbuktu's population and the local media to his religious goals. the chasm between his fundamentalist ideas and the historic city of learning and trade was too large. for the west timbuktu has long been a place of fable full of mystery and immeasurable treasures a symbol of the remote and unknown. but the city known as the pearl of the desert has centuries of history as an important west african crossroads today it belongs to mali. timbuktu has long been the gateway to the sahara desert and the
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world beyond. today it is home to some thirty thousand people who seek to maintain a connection to the modern world while maintaining many of their old traditions. just a few years ago ethnic conflicts were rare most of the time people coexisted peacefully fair skinned arabs and warrego some guy bella and many other ethnic groups with their different languages and cultures. girls went on veiled and confident women handle business and teenagers probably thought of the same things as they do most everywhere only the ginger bear mosque dates back to the fourteenth century together with the other great mosques of timbuktu it formed the hub of west african scholarship during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in more than one hundred
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fifty quranic schools affiliated with the mosques the most distinguished islamic scholars of the magreb talk more than twenty thousand students they studied the koran and the prophet's life conducted scientific research and wrote down their findings in manuscripts to this day a moderate form of islam is practiced here strongly influenced by sufism and african religions. came up to mind ben s.l.u.t. leads friday prayers a ginger bam last. the longs to a centuries old dynasty of scholars he watches over his family's library. and it is lovely. many manuscripts have been passed down through generations.
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still and a great deal of them were not preserved properly and were damaged by whether want termites. our forefathers didn't know how important these manuscripts were and. then more sober portal one of. many family libraries near timbuktu are in a disastrous condition they desperately need to be saved from destruction and up till carter haidara takes long drives to surrounding villages to inspect the manuscripts. he's been trying for years to convince the family leaders to hand over their
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treasures to his institute that way they can be restored as quickly as possible and the. negotiations are often long and tedious because they say they can't just hand over the family legacy. dora tries to convince the patriarch that soon nothing will remain to pass on to further generations if nothing is done to preserve the brittle manuscripts. the restoration work took place in high doris n.-g. a workshop called d.c.i. or in the state run institute in timbuktu. that was until war broke out in two thousand and twelve.
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according to legend madame bach to use the weight by a well in the desert looking after the belongings of the caravans the travelers would camp here in order to rest at. back to the well of block two. it was located at the crossroads for trade routes that links the mediterranean with the heart of africa. and timbuktu has always been already serving counter and cultural transformation in human. to hero a new civilization emerged. here lay on the route to mecca the way north through a much use route to go with as long as people and goods pass for through here to flourish to. prosperity. traders from the margret also brought islam and their culture to west africa. the
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caravans transported salt on every cold and slaves to egypt and morocco these were traded for cloth weapons and bombs in a sense timbuktu was the first global city in africa a center for the exchange of goods and knowledge a place of tolerance and coexistence of the many different peoples and cultures of the sahara region who came there to train. to prove to the much easier. for the march on used this exchange of goods could be of material but also of the immaterial nature of your culture and writings books were an important trading commodity or. that you could earn the most money in timbuktu your poems who if you had you were not considered poor. and if i were a copy is too did not live in poverty. the children were sent to timbuktu by their
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parents who felt under trade. is all of this contributed to timbuktu's prosperity. there was no paper but it was important what they're shipped from morocco and europe so. everything that was needed was transported on the caravan routes see the caravans also carried books which were then solvers and live on the border some people who were not the first and foremost your traders would copy and write books and then sound and it really is a volatile. of . the. three years. i lived before and was all scholars and
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pupils met to study the writings in the homes of philo chants and preachers known as la. salla la holly or solo he. was. not it. i mean lot of critics or large marabou families had their own manuscripts. amounts they were family are again in the civil. not unsympathetic so fuck the world they were not so on but lent out if you needed a book you would borrow it from america. this is a world in which. if . anything was wrong. well.
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the manuscripts were also important guide books for people's daily lives in timbuktu and gave practical advice if for example a woman asked herself whether her illegitimate child could gain entry to paradise. but if i know that you're entering into paradise depends soley on good conduct everyone who dies as a muslim will enter paradise on this also applies to illegitimate children there is no difference. each of us is responsible for his or her own actions. in a child is not responsible for its parents actions towards god. according to the koran no one carries the burden of another person all people are responsible for themselves just as. right from the beginning
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just how the rebels occupied the ottoman institute the state research center with its important library the basement contained over eleven thousand valuable manuscripts with a qur'anic interpretations in the old manuscripts not consistent with the fundamentalist islamic teachings where the manuscripts in danger mohammad a researcher at the institute was very concerned. as to. the institute was a band that most of the employees had fled during the occupation. to. they left the manuscripts to their own faded minds. for the future seemed bleak but there was no work so they were forced to leave. but nobody was permitted to enter the building which was built by south africa. nobody was allowed to enter except for the occupying forces or the. little people everyone was concerned
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the head of the ahmed baba institute the owners of the family libraries the population of timbuktu the delegation was sent into the jihadi camp to ensure that the manuscripts were safe. but. what value do the manuscripts of timbuktu have to you as an intellectual. so how do they contain our history they are us so what are we without the manuscripts in this institute we can't imagine a community without them they are our history our culture. so you would do everything in your power to protect the manuscripts. we don't even need to discuss the first. but was he to be trusted with the jihadists really safeguard the manuscripts. after the meeting the director wasn't sure. when i think.
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we can cooperate with our own sardines people. to you they are understanding people and. it is also their culture their religion. they too have grandfathers so entrusted us with manuscripts. we share the same religion. so far nothing has been destroyed. but cars were confiscated and motorbikes. we don't know what's going to happen. we're going to do then followed what many people had predicted in maine twenty twelve rebels began destroying the mausoleums. believers were supposed to pray directly to allah not to an ancient shrine but. other when we destroyed that people said we disturbed the grades but we didn't do anything to them like why
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would we have gone into the crepes we didn't disturb any grapes we aren't even allowed to disturb the graves of nonbelievers according to islam building a house on top of a great that is not allowed. we destroyed the muslims we didn't disturb any graves so we did nothing wrong. because a muslim is not consistent with sharia. i don't understand why it's not consistent with sharia law it's not allowed the mound of the great must be lower than the neatly. but prices threaten the survival of the libraries. so that the conquest of timbuktu came as a surprise. nobody saw it coming. after one month people ask themselves how things are going to continue like this when will it stop. slowly but surely they understood that these people had not come because of
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islam but because of other things. it's your money or the schools so we decided to take matters into our own hands some of them. after witnessing the destruction of them also liam's everyone was aware that the manuscripts were in grave danger. and amazing rescue mission began. on office of the wrong guy in a big area we decided to save the books because of the war in the north of mali one and i. mean everyone was feeling that over the traders with their goods and their money. our fortune lies in our cultural heritage. so we did everything in our power to smuggle it out of the war zone i think that is the normal thing to do . the manuscripts were first
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removed from the publicly known my berries because the just how this would target them first. the libraries were emptied shelves and showcases cleared. in may twenty twelve thousand works were safely removed from him and then also u.t.s. library imo. this was to be just the beginning of a large scale rescue mission that lasted six months. though some of the c. . plan that we secretly hit the manuscript to send specially main trunk.
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because. let a lot of little mothers because. these were then carried away by river with more in cars or with donkey carts across the city on the other side the world live in in absolute secrecy of little discus or. if the mother screamed. at first the trunks were stored in the homes of the families the books originally belonged to. unesco and its representative in mali followed the operation from sidelights world heritage what's at stake here. that. we were in daily contact with that and was that we had the obligation and a great responsibility not only to protect our sources of information but also protect those who were putting their lives at stake. or. the people who were trying
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to save the manuscripts they manusky in defense of. some families decided to hide their libraries in timbuktu. during the occupation everyone tried to hide their manuscripts. and some of them took them to bamako. we decided to store them here in different locations. we believe that transporting them through the streets would have involved too many obstacles and was too dangerous. we weren't sure if they would make it to bamako. so the family council decided to divide the trunks up among family members and hide them in various secret locations here in timbuktu. most of the manuscripts however bush shipped safely
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out of the city in october twenty eighth of the u.n. security council declared its readiness to respond to molly's request for an international military force. it was clear that the world cultural heritage had to be evacuated from the war so to prevent it from being destroyed by car. by boat by motorbike by road by the waterway. new. shoes. evacuation of the manuscripts had began north of young men as. we were informed of that to. describe it we had to keep the mission a secret do we had to protect those who were risking their lives or supplant. so the school. the trunks were transported over
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a thousand kilometers to molly's capital bamako. would demand we removed many manuscripts from the war zone to be precise we managed to salvage ninety five percent of the region's manuscripts. near the gap. but the gist harvests were not the only problem again and again there were incidents with police officers during the long journey. every checkpoint could potentially put a stop to the evacuation mission. it was a dangerous mission about two hundred activists and volunteers were involved often risking their own lives more than two thousand trunks were smuggled from timbuktu to bamako with no losses. every checkpoint posed
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a security threat would police officers allow them to pass or what they confiscate the trunks leaving them to hold stolen goods. oh. another. one of. those in charge of the operation repeatedly had to intervene either in person or by telephone and give confirmation to the police officers that everything was above board and the necessary paperwork was available for inspection. this went on day after day night after night for several months. and. did say the incredible courage that these heroes of timber. two displayed could not simply remain soley the responsibility of mali. we needed to
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help them. using all our resources when formed the international community. and we also contacted the un security council the important we sounded the alarm yet we wanted the world to know what was happening in mali hunting back to just to suppress my. own we could only intervene with the means available to us. and we were frustrated because you know sco doesn't have an army a soldier in the square the. military forces then moved in in january twenty third teen during operation set about the french and mali and forces we took him back to as well as the entire north of mali. the islamist insurgents
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often retreated without resistance into the desert and disappeared without a trace. but they left behind destroyed mausoleums and burned manuscripts and a traumatized population. while we're treating the harvest had burned about four thousand manuscripts. you play i ever wigs french and mali and troops relentlessly pushed forward into northern mali tanks world along the main road between timbuktu and bamako. the evacuation of manuscript was either recruited to side roads or continued by boat. sometimes a transportation vehicle was shot at in error from an aircraft when it was suspected that weapons were in the trunks.
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scottish. the strategy of these armed groups the groups that navy was to take everything from the residents of timbuktu that was of vital importance to them it dick in fallujah if that is taken from them or they no longer have any points of reference. it will be as if they had never even existed. there mid-air they exist in a particular war valente if you are nothing that would prevent a panic it's easy to manipulate here so you can see from that as. it comes in every they can do what they like with you. we had to prevent that cost what it may is going to differ young absalom also for it as of the.
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other guy out there i think. that this we had to look on as the more the limbs were destroyed i mean shows the same as happened in my rebellious. and i'm sure same as happened in most of the muslim. and then for the same as happened in yemen the image and in other countries. after more than six months the rescue operation was largely completed over three hundred seventy seven thousand manuscripts from thirty five family libraries and the state owned library had been saved ninety nine percent in all. the last trucks
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arrived in bamako in february twenty third. the family libraries from timbuktu were finally in safety again in the new center belonging to haidar as n.g.o.s. haidar to check the condition of the boxes and manuscripts had they been further damaged during transport in a baloch ho a new danger was awaiting the manuscripts had been preserved for centuries in a dry desert climate and were already in fragile condition in bamako a rainy season lasting several months and high humidity took a further toll on the old documents the restoration work that had begun before the occupation was now even more urgent. but most of timbuktu's mausoleums couldn't be protected from the islamists vandalism thirteen of the sixteen ancient tombs had been destroyed. reconstruction of this world cultural
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heritage in timbuktu began soon after liberation with the help of us go the work including the mausoleum at ben a so u.t.s. ginger bear mosque. with the support of the international community all the buildings have been. reconstructed. but without military protection this part of our world cultural heritage could not have been preserved. that is one of the better lessons learned from timbuktu. at the sub ana institute in bamako the work of preserving the manuscripts which had been interrupted by war could finally be resumed. it's a race against time. every loose leaf collection of documents is given its own box for protection and storage.
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next the documents are catalogued and digitalized. the long term objective is to create a central catalog and a public online database that can be accessed by international researchers so far only a small portion of the manuscripts have been studied by researchers. this one is clear for the public the manuscripts that have been heavily damaged must be repaired and restored as soon as possible. but most important of all focus that they have to be translated for five. if focus would translate them and make them available to the public at large that you live. in the western understanding of africa it's often assumed that the continent's
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tradition is only an oral one passed on through stories music and dance but the manuscripts show that the african continent has a long history of islamic scholarship and literacy and an important scientific and philosophical tradition now this cultural heritage can be made available to everyone for africans it is part of their identity. all of timbuktu's heritage is based on its manuscripts. education is based on them and good conduct morals are based on the manuscripts they embody the light of tell about to. hear. every restored manuscript that is added to the shelves makes this light shine again . for me to be excellent
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example of him to can give courage and strength to other people as well. everywhere in the world. if it worked in him to do it can work in moser up a match and in palmyra. mashi he can work in tunisia the mashie in libya yemen. where young men whenever world cultural heritage becomes a military target the population must not be left alone to deal with it. that is why we see timbuktu as a great success story. and take on success. haidara two can be proud of the successful rescue mission but to this day some of his dreams remain unfulfilled. moreover my
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dream is that one day we'll be able to say there are no problems left in timbuktu on the dam where to take all our manuscripts and return them to timbuktu so that's my dream was that day has yet to come it will take some time before the manuscripts can safely return to timbuktu. the jihadists have been expelled for now but they have not been defeated the situation in timbuktu remains tense and its cultural heritage is still in danger. the manuscript still have a long journey home the head of them.
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you know max this week's highlights. enjoying the spring in a house by the sea in front it's. going to occur. in vintage passes. in the senate race in color and the parade of fallis in the days. of the roman inserting the supposed douglas.
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philosopher and flip start to do more good and despised. karl marx farrakhan of communism a man whose ideas changed the world but also defeated it. will offend is he today and what influence does he have on politics and general culture played on the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of the documentary marx and his heirs d.w. . the dangerous battle for images five women. some have exceptional stories and one calling more photography dramatic pictures from the frontlines capturing faithful moments in time and even risking death. she gave her life to tell the stories of people who ended up killing . women the war photographers starting may third on t.w. .
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plane . this is your news live from berlin. president says its nuclear agreement is non-negotiable. knew the u.s. secretary of state might become pale meets with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and the u.s. says it's willing to walk away from that deal if it isn't changed also coming up north korean leaders.

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