The leaders of South Korea and China are slated to hold a summit this week that will closely consider North Korea’s nuclear weapons work.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to travel to South Korea to meet with South Korean President Park Geun-hye for their fifth meeting so far this year. The visit comes as Xi has yet to sit down with North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, Reuters reports. International observers are expected to watch if Xi gives any indication of his government’s perceived frustration with Pyongyang’s continued provocative tactics and pursuit of a deliverable nuclear weapon.
China has long been North Korea’s biggest foreign ally and chief economic benefactor. However, the belligerent actions of the Kim regime in recent years — including the apparent test-firing in 2012 of a long-range ballistic missile, a 2013 nuclear test and repeated threats earlier this spring of another atomic detonation, as well as the high-profile execution last winter of Kim’s uncle — are thought to have pushed Beijing to the limits of its patience.
Xi and Park “are expected to spend considerable time discussing the North Korean nuclear and the Korean peninsula issues in depth, and we believe the atmosphere will be appropriately reflected in a joint document,” South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se told lawmakers on Monday. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin on Tuesday said the North Korean nuclear impasse would be an “important topic” for discussion during the Seoul-Beijing meeting.
Both China and South Korea are participants in a frozen six-nation process aimed at permanently ending North Korea’s nuclear work. While Seoul wants Pyongyang to first provide a concrete gesture of its commitment to denuclearization before the negotiations are resumed, Beijing does not believe there should be any preconditions before talks continue.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."