The New York Times – David E. Sanger & Choe Sang-Hun / Korea talks begin as Kim Jong-un crosses to south’s side of DMZ
- Today’s meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in is the third summit between leaders of the two countries, but the first in which denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula tops the agenda.
- Kim became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korean-controlled territory. After Kim and Moon posed for photos, they crossed briefly into the North’s territory at Kim’s suggestion, another highly symbolic moment.
- Moon hopes to emerge from the summit meeting with a formal but vague denuclearization commitment from Kim and perhaps a path to negotiating a peace treaty or a plan to reduce military tensions. Some have suggested a pullback of troops from the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South is possible.
- Moon favors an “action for action” strategy in which the North takes steps to dismantle its nuclear arsenal and is rewarded for each move with economic benefits and security guarantees. South Korean officials said that the entire process could take about two years.
- US President Donald Trump’s national security team, by contrast, has insisted that North Korea must scrap its weapons programs before any relief from the sanctions that isolate the nation can be granted.
Project Syndicate – Graham Allison / The case for secret diplomacy
- There were many good reasons why senators might decide to support or oppose Pompeo’s nomination. But Pompeo’s withholding of the fact that he was engaged in secret diplomacy with North Korea was not one of them.
- The most important diplomatic breakthrough of the Cold War, the United States’ opening to China, began with secret negotiations between Henry Kissinger (then President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser) and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai.
- Likewise, President Barack Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, could not have been achieved without secret talks.
- But, as difficult as the talks with Iran were, negotiating with Kim’s Hermit Kingdom will be harder still. In this context, sending a secret envoy to Pyongyang to lay the groundwork for productive negotiations is precisely what the US should be doing.
- The Guardian / White House releases pictures of Mike Pompeo shaking hands with Kim Jong-un
Politico – Matthew Karnitschnig / After Macron high, Trump’s Merkel comedown
- The main aim of Germany’s Angela Merkel in her trip to Washington today might be described as damage control. “We have a divide on the policy side and a lack of chemistry between the two leaders, the two main political actors, on the personal side,” said Jan Techau, director of the Europe program at the German Marshall Fund.
- Germany’s trade surplus with the US has long been a thorn in Trump’s side. And though Germany has pledged to pursue NATO’s spending target of 2 percent of GDP and has already increased its defense budget, it remains far away from achieving that goal.
- Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Thursday that Washington would consider exempting the EU from steel and aluminum tariffs if the Union made concessions on auto tariffs.
- Another contentious issue on Friday’s agenda involves Nord Stream 2, a planned gas pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, which Washington opposes.
- Like Macron before her, Merkel is expected to press Trump to stick with the Iran nuclear deal. But here, the chancellor will likely enjoy less credibility with the president for the simple reason that her government played a central role in negotiating it.
Foreign Affairs – Amy Guttmann & Jonathan D. Moreno / Keep CRISPR safe
- The advances made possible by CRISPR – a method for editing DNA – could bring vast benefits to society, but the technology also poses risks.
- Governments and scientific institutions will have to establish standards that both enable promising research to go forward and reassure the public that the work is being conducted responsibly.
- Yet especially when the science is at such an early stage, there is a risk that governments will do too much rather than too little. To avoid that problem, the global scientific and biological ethics communities must take the lead in designating standards. Scientific establishments have shown themselves capable of self-governance when public safety and confidence are at stake.
- Governments should follow the principle of regulatory parsimony, which dictates that they should impose only those restrictions necessary to maintain ethical standards and public safety.
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.