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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Now that the initial shock has worn off from today's Korean news, here's a brief survey of the reasons for skepticism and optimism about peace and denuclearization.

Why it matters: Today is only the beginning of a lengthy process, and we've been burned by early optimism in the past.

Skepticism:

  • "North and South Korean leaders have signed grand peace documents before, in 2000 and 2007, and neither lasted. In 2012, North Korea agreed not to test missiles and then weeks later fired one off but called it a 'satellite' launch." [NYT's Nicholas Kristof]
  • Kim Jong-un "may also be exhibiting a degree of confidence and security because of his nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, which suggests he is unlikely to give them up." [Richard Haass]
  • The language released today "hews to a phrase preferred by Pyongyang that critics of the rapprochement say conditions any North Korean actions on the withdrawal of the U.S. military from South Korea." [WSJ]
  • China could demand U.S. troops leave South Korea in exchange for a permanent peace treaty. [NYT's Choe Sang-Hun]
  • "We put [the odds of denuclearizing during Trump's first term] at 5 percent." [Eurasia Group's Meredith Sumpter]

Optimism:

  • "[T]he new actors (Kim, Moon and Trump) and new setting (a de facto nuclear North Korea under different leadership) might lead to a different ending this time." [Gi-Wook Shin]
  • "New U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he believed Mr. Kim was serious about reaching a deal." [WSJ]
  • "It’s hard to see the U.S. credibly threatening military pre-emption when peace is breaking out across the peninsula — which is precisely the point." [Ian Bremmer]
  • "South Korean officials do not believe that Mr. Kim will swiftly relinquish his nuclear weapons. But there is a growing belief in Seoul that he might ultimately bargain them away, if it helps him rebuild the economy." [NYT]

Go deeper

Updated 47 seconds ago - Technology

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.

Jan. 6 committee to start contempt proceedings against Meadows

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 select committee plans to move forward with contempt proceedings against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for his refusal to comply with the panel's subpoena.

Why it matters: The committee has used the threat of contempt — and the associated financial and reputational costs — to try to ensure evasive witnesses sit for their depositions.

Complaint to FTC: Amazon search results full of potentially deceiving ads

Photo: Nigel Kirby/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Amazon does not sufficiently distinguish between its search results and paid ads, potentially "deceiving millions of consumers," according to a complaint filed to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Joan Moriarty, research director for the Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of labor unions that filed the complaint, told the Washington Post the group is "very hopeful" that the FTC will investigate the complaint because Lina Khan (D), a known Amazon critic, is now chair.