🎧 ‘The Daily’: ‘Dear Mr. Chairman …’ | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: ‘Dear Mr. Chairman …’ by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

President Trump abruptly canceled on Thursday the highly anticipated summit meeting with Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, that was scheduled to take place on June 12. In a letter to Mr. Kim announcing his decision, Mr. Trump wrote, “The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace.”

On today’s episode:

• Mark Landler, who covers the White House for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Mr. Trump announced his decision to call off the summit meeting in a strikingly personal letter that contained mixed messages, both raising the possibility of military action against the North and leaving the door open for a future diplomatic encounter between the two men.

• The announcement came hours after North Korea appeared to destroy its only known nuclear test site in a spectacle that was attended by foreign journalists and was meant to be a sign of good faith ahead of the meeting with Mr. Trump.

• North Korea responded in a carefully worded statement that it remained “willing to sit down with the United States any time, in any format, to resolve the problems.”

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: North Korea’s Fear? Becoming Libya | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: North Korea’s Fear? Becoming Libya by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

John R. Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, has said that negotiations with North Korea should follow “the Libya model.” Now, North Korea is threatening to call off the planned summit meeting with Mr. Trump. What risks does the Libya model hold for Kim Jong-un?

On today’s episode:

• Mark Landler, a White House correspondent for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• In a statement released on Wednesday, North Korea’s vice foreign minister threatened to cancel scheduled talks with President Trump if the United States continues to insist on complete nuclear abandonment.

• The statement repeatedly cites the example of Libya, whose former leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, agreed in 2003 to forfeit the country’s nuclear capability in the hope of economic integration with the West. Colonel Qaddafi was captured and killed by rebel forces after the United States and its allies launched airstrikes in Libya in 2011.

• According to administration and foreign officials, President Trump has been seeking advice from his aides and allies, including from President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, about whether he should proceed with the talks with Kim Jong-un at the risk of political embarrassment.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Prospect of Peace With North Korea | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Prospect of Peace With North Korea by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The time and place for a historic meeting between the president of the United States and the leader of North Korea have been set. Does President Trump deserve credit for the diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula?

On today’s episode:

• Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist who writes about human rights and global affairs, and who has repeatedly traveled to North Korea for The Times.

Background reading:

• After the release of three American detainees in North Korea, President Trump confirmed on Thursday that he would meet with Kim Jong-un, the North’s leader, on June 12 in Singapore.

• North Korea has invited journalists from the United States and other countries to witness the dismantling of its underground nuclear test site before the summit meeting.

• It may now be possible to envision an era of peace with North Korea, but the odds that the North will forfeit its nuclear arsenal entirely are uncertain at best, Nicholas Kristof writes.

Does Trump get credit? He still hasn’t actually carried anything out yet. It’s even more ironic to be listening to this on the same day that they’re walking away from the table less than 10 days later. Nick Kristof should have held to his guns of doom and gloom.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: A Family Divided by the Korean War | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: A Family Divided by the Korean War by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

In a historic summit meeting, North and South Korea vowed to pursue a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War after more than 65 years. That could bring reunions for the thousands of families who have been separated since the war broke out.

On today’s episode:

• Sylvia Nam tells the story of her grandfather, who went to North Korea a few months after the Korean War started and never returned.

Background coverage:

• After more than six decades, the Korean War is technically still not over. Here are photographs of the war, and a video explaining what happened— and why it matters.

• At a summit meeting on Friday, the leaders of North and South Korea signed a joint statement affirming that “a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula” would be a common goal of the two countries.

• The South Korean government said on Sunday that Kim Jong-un, the North’s leader, had declared he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States agreed to sign a peace treaty and promised not to invade his country. Skeptics warn that North Korea has made similar pledges in the past.

A fascinating story…

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👓 North Korea says it will suspend nuclear and missile tests, shut down test site | Washington Post

Read North Korea says it will suspend nuclear and missile tests, shut down test site by Anna Fifield (Washington Post)
TOKYO — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared that he will suspend nuclear and missile tests starting Saturday and that he will shut down the site where the previous six nuclear tests were conducted. The surprising announcement comes just six days before Kim is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a precursor to a historic summit between Kim and President Trump. The U.S. president is set to meet Kim at the end of May or beginning of June, although a location has not yet been set.
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👓 ‘The Daily’: Rex Tillerson’s Firing and North Korea | The New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Rex Tillerson’s Firing and North Korea by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com
Mr. Tillerson’s push for nuclear talks put him at odds with his boss. He has been replaced as secretary of state just as President Trump prepares to meet Kim Jong-un.

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👓 Trump’s Abrupt ‘Yes’ to North Korea: The 45 Minutes That Could Alter History | The New York Times

Read With Snap ‘Yes’ in Oval Office, Trump Gambles on North Korea by Peter Baker and Choe Sang-Hun (nytimes.com)
How President Trump threw aside caution and agreed to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in a daring and risky diplomatic gambit to end a nuclear standoff.

It kills me that a year and change in, they still can’t get their act together to coordinate major moves like this. Our country is not a race car that stops on a dime or turns very quickly. Trump may want it to, but it’s not going to do it easily. He’s also likely to destroy a lot of value in our economies by playing bull in the china shop.

I’m still astounded that he’s managed to keep any businesses afloat when making snap decisions like this. It’s really his family’s incredible wealth that in large part has prevented him from reverting to the mean over his lifetime. I can only imagine what additional damage he might do if he actually had any executive capabilities.

If I were his Secretary of State, I’d be resigning and then doing some additional speaking out of school.

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🎧 North Korea Reaches Out | The Daily – New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: North Korea Reaches Out by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com
South Korea says that the North is willing to talk about dismantling its atomic arsenal. What happened to the threat of nuclear war?

A nice breakdown on recent history of North Korea and nuclear weapons.

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