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https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/trump-north-korea-kim-yong-chol-trip/index.html

Since that time Trump has insisted that talks with North Korea are yielding progress, pointing to the lack of missile and nuclear tests as evidence that Pyongyang is moving towards denuclearization.

Why is there this usage?

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It is used to express a change that is happening gradually. For example, you have been quite ill, but you are getting better. Something that happens slowly, over a period of time.

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