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Kim Jong-un's nuclear announcement televised in Pyongyang on April 21, 2018. Photo: Kim Won Jin/AFP via Getty Images

Last week, Kim Jong-un set the stage for upcoming summits with South Korea and the U.S. by announcing the suspension of North Korea's nuclear and long-range missile tests and the closure of its northern nuclear test site.

The big picture: Although Kim’s move is clever, we have been here before, and it does not change the game. North Korea may have no need of another nuclear test in the near future — there hasn't been one since September — and Kim knows that this concession is the bare minimum he will need to offer at his meeting with Trump.

Kim’s announcement needed to justify this course reversal to the North Korean people, and did so by declaring that the country had now achieved nuclearized status and that it was therefore time to focus on economic development.

More importantly, in the midst of reasonable doubts about his sincerity, Kim wanted to send a clear message to the U.S. and the international community that he was serious about the planned dialogues and willing to talk about denuclearization. Trump immediately respond with a tweet: “Progress being made for all!”

What's next: Kim will meet Friday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss how to make further progress before the Kim–Trump summit, which is likely to take place in June.

The bottom line: This most recent declaration is a smart strategic move by Kim, but there is still cause for skepticism: There is no indication that he will dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and the thorny question of whether denuclearization will be achieved remains unanswered.

Gi-Wook Shin is chair of Korean Studies at Stanford University, director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.