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A North Korean village, seen from the DMZ. Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
The dramatic Singapore summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un has been followed by five weeks of occasional talk and no action. That could change next week.
Jim Walsh, an international security expert at MIT who has negotiated with North Korea, thinks Pyongyang has more remains than it plans to turn over, and is doing “just enough to make an impression.”
“It will take the heat off if we get the remains back. Everyone will be happy and it will buy another few months."— Jim Walsh
That seems to mirror North Korea's approach to nuclear talks, which are a far heavier lift. Besides a rebuke for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over what it termed “gangster-like" demands on denuclearization, North Korea’s primary tactic has been to delay. Trump doesn’t seem to mind, saying this week that there is “no rush” on denuclearization.
Jung Pak, former CIA analyst now at Brookings, says that gives Kim "a lot of flexibility."
“It’s a favorable environment for North Korea to continue to drag things out at the moment."— Jung Pak
What to watch...
Kim and Xi in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua/Ju Peng via Getty Images
“It’s clear China is happy with a process of denuclearization that gets drawn out,” says Chris Johnson, a former CIA analyst now at CSIS. And amid a trade war with Trump, Beijing doesn’t seem to mind Kim’s more provocative approach.
Sisi is watching, in Cairo. Photo: Amar Makar/AFP/Getty Images
With a new Egyptian law making anyone with more than 5,000 social media followers subject to strict media laws, Eurasia Group's Kevin Allison explores the broader trend in the latest Signal newsletter.
Governments around the world are attempting to control the flow of subversive information (however they define it) through their societies.
What to watch: So far, the U.S. and U.K. have resisted passing new laws aimed at stamping out fake news, but Germany, which has a history of censoring hate speech, has adopted the technocratic approach. If fake news rocks the 2018 U.S. midterms, more democracies may decide they have no choice but to follow Germany’s lead.
One point that's often lost in heated debate is that immigration can be vital in ensuring countries have enough young workers to support their aging populations, Axios' Stef Kight writes:
Robust immigration has buoyed the populations of the U.S., U.K. and other developed nations. But a number of aging countries don't have enough immigration to keep from shrinking.
Israel's parliament passed a controversial bill Thursday recognizing the country as the national and historical home of the Jewish people, granting Jews the "unique" right to "exercise national self-determination."
Axios contributor Barak Ravid explains the significance:
In other news... Ravid reports that Netanyahu has worked behind the scenes for the last year to "open doors" in the Trump administration for Viktor Orban, Hungary's populist prime minister. And those efforts are bearing fruit.
Go deeper: Read the full report.
Paramilitaries on the streets of Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images
With political violence claiming over 300 lives since anti-government protests erupted in April, the rebellion in Nicaragua may be headed for full-blown civil conflict, American University's Michael McCarthy writes for Axios Expert Voices:
The big picture: President Daniel Ortega's government is in crisis and on the verge of collapse. To tighten his hold on power, Ortega has allied with paramilitary groups, effectively outsourcing repression to try to deny responsibility for alleged massacre-like attacks on dissidents. While the government's future is uncertain, the president's reputation is now indelibly tarnished.
President Trump said in an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson that he has wondered why the U.S. would be willing to go to war to defend smaller NATO countries like Montenegro or Albania, Axios' Haley Britzky writes.
Why it matters: The mutual defense pact is the bedrock of NATO. The only time it has been invoked was after the September 11 attacks.
"I’m an American and I’m under attack by Vladimir Putin right now."— Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on Putin's request to interrogate him. Trump belatedly rejected that plan today.
Thanks for reading — see you Monday evening!