Russia and China in recent days held bilateral talks on options for reinvigorating a moribund multinational process aimed at permanently ending North Korea’s nuclear-weapons work, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
Wu Dawei, China’s senior delegate to the six-nation talks, met on Monday in Beijing with his Russian counterpart in the frozen negotiations, Igor Morgulov, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement.
The two negotiators “exchanged in-depth views on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the resumption of the six-party talks,” the statement said.
The last round of the six-nation talks — which include China, Japan, North and South Korea, Russia and the United States — took place in December 2008.
The negotiating framework has called for rewarding Pyongyang for its phased shutdown of nuclear-weapon activities with timed concessions of peace agreements and foreign-economic aid. North Korea walked away from the talks in spring 2009, after which it rolled back earlier nuclear-dismantlement steps and significantly advanced its weapon and missile capabilities.
“We always maintain that the Korean nuclear issue should be solved through consultations and negotiations within the framework of the six-party talks,” ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press briefing. “Therefore, we stay in touch with all relevant parties.”
Beijing supports resuming the negotiations as soon as possible. However, Tokyo, Seoul and Washington have refused to return to the talks until Pyongyang demonstrates its commitment to irreversible denuclearization. In a series of recent semiformal meetings between former U.S. officials, senior North Korean officials are understood to have offered to implement a moratorium on further nuclear and long-range missile tests once the six-party talks get underway.
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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."