North Korea

Ariana Cubillos / AP

COMMENTARY

You could say I’ve got pandemic in my blood. My first American ancestor came to this country in 1665 escaping London’s bubonic plague, which killed a quarter of the city's population.

Ramon Espinosa / AP via Miami Herald

Last week, we asked if the U.S. should loosen economic sanctions against countries during grave crises like the new coronavirus. We considered Venezuela; this week we look at Cuba — and U.S. sanctions against its communist regime.

North Korea doesn't really do Christmas cards, but if it did, its card would probably have a picture of the nation's leader, Kim Jong Un, riding a white horse through a snowy wilderness. In fact, North Korean state media released those exact images this month, and the message was clear: Kim, frustrated with how things were going, was pondering a new direction.

As President Trump headed home dealless from Vietnam following his aborted summit with Kim Jong Un, North Korean officials held an impromptu middle-of-the-night news conference at a Hanoi hotel, offering an account about the failed talks that differed from Trump's.

Associated Press

President Donald Trump is addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York this morning.

While Trump may hold off on any harsh words against North Korea this year,  he will use his time at the General Assembly to push back against another potential nuclear threat: Iran.

When President Trump delivers his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, one phrase is unlikely to show up: "rocket man."

A lot has changed since Trump used that derisive nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his address at the U.N. last year — remarks where he also said the United States would "totally destroy" North Korea if necessary.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he will visit Seoul "in the near future," amid an ongoing summit with South Korea's Moon Jae-in in which he also renewed pledges to shut down a primary missile launch site and a key nuclear weapons complex if the U.S. takes "corresponding" measures.

Kim's remarks about traveling to Seoul were made during a news conference in Pyongyang with the South Korean president. It would be the first-ever visit to the South Korean capital by a North Korean head of state.

Kim Jong Un
KRT via AP Video

President Donald Trump came to Miami one year ago, on June 16, 2017, to announce he was rolling back some of the Obama-era changes in America’s Cuban policy. In doing so, Trump went after the communist dictatorship on the island.

 

Dr. Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) is a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and author of a novel about how a nuclear war with North Korea might begin, The 2020 Commission Report.

Ramon Espinosa; Evan Vucci / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Intellectual honesty is rarely a politician’s strong suit. But Florida Senator Marco Rubio showed us just how epic his hypocrisy is when he didn't denounce President Trump’s bromance this week with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. So epic it can only be explained by a line from another epic, “Lawrence of Arabia.”

To wit: There’s a big difference between a politician who merely hides the truth and a politician who’s forgotten where he put it.

North Korean state media have reported that President Trump made a raft of concessions to Kim Jong Un that were not stated in the two countries' joint statement, following a first-ever meeting of the leaders in Singapore.

While the U.S. has yet to confirm the contents of the reports, they suggest that the two leaders reached more verbal agreements than they put on paper, and made public.

The day began with a historic handshake, the first meeting ever between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. As Kim Jong Un and President Trump strode toward each other and clasped hands Tuesday morning at the Capella resort on Singapore's Sentosa Island, it marked a diplomatic milestone — and the start of what seems certain to be a long negotiation process over North Korea's nuclear program.

"I feel really great," the president said after the handshake.

When President Trump shakes hands with Kim Jong Un on Tuesday morning, it will mark the first time that a sitting U.S. president comes face to face with a North Korean leader. Trump once dubbed Kim "Little Rocket Man" and threatened "fire and fury" against his regime, but has expressed optimism about a potential deal with North Korea on denuclearization. "I just think it's going to work out very nicely," he said Monday. But he has also said he is prepared to walk away from the table if talks are not fruitful.

Veteran diplomats say it could take years to assess the results of this week's nuclear summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump doesn't expect to wait that long.

"I think within the first minute, I'll know," whether Kim is serious about giving up his nuclear weapons, the president told reporters Saturday. "Just my touch. My feel. That's what I do."

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

President Trump has called off a highly anticipated June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long planned meeting," Trump wrote in a letter to Kim.

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