President Donald Trump said in his post-summit news conference that he showed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a video of how, together, his country could be improved.

He said Kim smiled when he saw it.

He smiled because he doesn’t need condos and hotels on his beaches, as Trump suggested in his post-summit news conference.

He smiled because he is already treated like a god and is the richest person in his country.

He smiled because he got the best of America and didn’t have to give up anything in return but vague, empty promises.

President Trump legitimized an inhuman dictatorship and weakened our military by eliminating our joint military readiness exercises for nothing in return but a photo-op.

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No peace treaty.

No verifiable denuclearization.

No release of Japan’s and other country’s detainees.

Nothing but making the veterans who fought and died in the Korean War do so in vain.

And Kim smiled.

Jim Tomczyk, Forest Glen

Add #32 to 31 Bullets

I read the Sun-Times series “31 Bullets” on how to curb gun violence in America. While some of them are basic safety common-sense measures, #12 Safe Storage, #2 Child Locks, #5 Universal Background Checks, etc., some are meaningless and would do nothing to PREVENT gun violence: #28 Banning Large Capacity Magazines and #29 Immunity for Gun Manufacturers.

But the Sun-Times omitted THE most important factor in trying to curb gun violence, especially the street violence we see here on the city streets of Chicago.
Let me suggest #32 – Remove the perpetrators causing these senseless crimes thru long mandatory prison sentences.

Until you remove the criminals who are pulling the trigger and causing the violence all the other suggestions are band-aid solutions.

Tony LaMantia, Logan Square

Salivating over condos

When is the groundbreaking for the new Trump Hotel in North Korea? Trump was almost salivating over the condos that could be built on the beach shown in the propaganda video. Of course, he will deny any conflict of interest.

Anna Stork, Bridgeport

Suicide as a social issue

The article “For women, stigma of depression, anxiety can become too much to bear” (June 11) begins by noting that the suicide rate for middle-aged Americans has risen more than 50 percent since 1999. It then fails to explore the obvious question: Why?

It suggests that the stigma of mental illness and consequent non-treatment are the problem, even though the U.S. is the most medicated society in history, with one in six Americans taking some sort of psychiatric drug, mainly antidepressants (which have many side effects, including, ironically, heightened suicide risk).

For individuals, suicide is to some extent a medical and psychological question, but on the national level it is a social issue — or, more precisely, a social symptom. We exist in a society that eagerly feeds individual cravings and addictions, but is not oriented to satisfy deeper human needs for connection and community. The recent celebrity suicides are a red flag, warning us not just to reach out to those in distress, but also to examine our value system and way of life.

Hugh Iglarsh, Skokie

Nonviolent protest

As this controversy rages on over kneeling during the national anthem, I can’t help but raise a relevant question. Exactly when, and by whose decree, did this practice become an ugly offense against the country? First of all, the taking of a knee was never about respect for the flag or the military, or about patriotism It was a civil, silent, nonviolent protest against a perceived wrong that many felt needed to be addressed.

Secondly, throughout history the taking of a knee was actually a symbol of respect and in some instances an acknowledgment of subservience. It has always been the expected protocol in monarchies for the person advancing/addressing the king or queen to at the very least, go down on a knee before them displaying their allegiance and loyalty to them. Catholics, one of the largest religious groups in the world, find it a common practice to take a knee, (genuflect) upon entering a church, again showing their subservience to God. Maybe this time the individual may have shown poor judgment to take a knee at this event, but it seems too many people have seriously confused this issue and blown it into something that it never was.

Daniel Pupo, Orland Park