Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday said he was optimistic about the chances of reaching a new understanding with the United States on re-engaging North Korea about its nuclear weapons work, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
“I am confident that we will be able to reach a new, important agreement” on how to reinvigorate paralyzed multinational talks on North Korea’s nuclear arms, Wang said at a Washington press briefing ahead of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
As the host of the six-nation talks, China has been a big proponent of resuming the aid-for-denuclearization negotiations that were last held in December 2008. The discussions include Japan, the two Koreas, Russia and the United States.
Earlier this week, North Korea’s senior nuclear negotiator at a conference in Beijing said Pyongyang was prepared to return to the nuclear talks if there were no preconditions.
The U.S. State Department on Thursday said there had been no alteration in Washington’s longstanding demand that North Korea first concretely show its commitment to denuclearization before negotiations are resumed.
“Our position on this hasn’t changed,” department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters. “We’ve said that the onus is on North Korea to take meaningful actions toward denuclearization.” Her remarks suggested there had no quick headway achieved during the meeting with Wang.
Meanwhile, a new expert study is recommending Beijing and Washington contemplate establishing a separating boundary that establishes spheres of Chinese and U.S. interest in North Korea in the aftermath of a possible collapse of the Kim Jong Un regime, Agence France-Presse reported on Thursday.
Should the regime implode, it is highly likely that South Korea and the United States would enter the North in order to secure the country’s unconventional weapons, among other reasons. The Chinese military might also intervene in order to prevent a mass wave of North Korean refugees fleeing into China, creating the potential for a showdown between allied U.S. and South Korean forces and Chinese troops, concludes the study by the research think-tank RAND Corp.
What We're Following See More »
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.”